Haida Nation President Gaagwiis Jason Alsop released a COVID-19 update video on Thursday, May 28, 2020, advising people that the state of local emergency enacted on March 23 is still in effect and the Council of the Haida Nation is working on next steps. (YouTube screengrab)

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

Haida Nation President Gaagwiis Jason Alsop released another COVID-19 update video on Thursday (May 28), to say Haida Gwaii is “moving toward a time of transition.”

Alsop said the state of local emergency enacted by the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) on March 23 remains in place, as do travel restrictions for non-residents and the requirement that people returning from off-island need to self-isolate.

However, he said the CHN is in the process of developing next steps that could be released this week.

ALSO READ: ‘We’ll continue to take a local approach’: Haida Nation president talks B.C.’s restart plan

ALSO READ: B.C. work, school restart can’t be rushed, John Horgan says

“For the time being, our travel restrictions for non-residents remain in place and will look to remain in place until the end of June,” he said.

“We’ve been carefully watching what’s happening with B.C.’s restart plan and monitoring the progress, and things continue to trend in the right direction, thanks to everybody’s hard work.

“We’re in the process of developing the conditions and indicators that will help guide us in moving forward to our next steps, and we’ll be looking to release next steps of our state of emergency and adjusting our measures early next week.”

Alsop said next steps could include allowing people to “loosen up” their social circles, opening up local protected areas for day use and the return of more local businesses.

ALSO READ: Provincial parks on Haida Gwaii remain closed, as others around B.C. open to day use

“We understand what everybody’s been going through,” he said, adding that Haida Gwaii will continue to take next steps slower than others parts of the province due to the unique circumstances of the remote island communities.

Alsop also said that Indigenous and municipal leaders from the north and central coasts as well as Haida Gwaii had recently met with several B.C. ministers, and a commitment was made to move forward with a “Leadership Table,” to help guide the pandemic response in the short-, medium- and long-terms.

ALSO READ: ‘Our United Coast’: Haida Nation hosts virtual COVID-19 travel restriction town hall

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