Thoughts on the Katimaqatigiit- Nihkhah Łatr’iljil postponement 

On the advice of the NWT Chief Public Health Officer, the Hotıì ts'eeda Katimaqatigiit- Nihkhah Łatr’iljil has been postponed until further notice. This is due to the risks posed by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This conference was scheduled for April 14-17, 2020 in Inuvik and is part of Hotıì ts'eeda’s governance It also provides an annual opportunity for engagement with partners and collaborators.
 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80 per cent of people who contract coronavirus will have mild to moderate flu-like symptoms. For the remaining individuals, the virus can result in severe respiratory distress. 
 
The COVID-19 virus is one that can be passed between people more easily than other common illnesses such as flu. Also, for some, it is more severe. A sudden or large outbreak could result in pressure on the health system, and on the resources of small NWT communities in particular. Taking measures quickly will help to stop or slow the spread of this virus. Based on the available evidence, Hotıì ts'eeda has made the decision to take steps that will contribute to stopping or slowing the spread of the virus. This has included canceling events, and suspending all staff travel. Hotıì ts'eeda has introduced sanitary protocols in the Hotıì ts'eeda office space.
 
The Hotıì ts'eeda Katimaqatigiit (Inuvialuit)-Nihkhah Łatr’iljil (Gwich’in), also known as the Ełèts’ehdèe (Tłı̨chǫ), is Hotıì ts'eeda’s annual gathering. It is an important event for getting feedback and direction from Hotıì ts'eeda partners about moving forward. While its postponement is a disappointment, the health and safety of Hotıì ts'eeda partners is paramount. At the Katimaqatigiit-Nihkhah Łatr’iljil many people from across Canada meet with participants from communities across the NWT, and all return to their homes after the event. This year, participants would have traveled from several cities which are currently experiencing coronavirus transmissions.

Right now, Hotıì ts'eeda is determining a new date to hold the Katimaqatigiit, and will update our partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, Hotıì ts'eeda continues working together with partners for good health in the NWT.

For more information about COVID-19 in the NWT please see: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/coronavirus-disease-covid-19