Batchewana Limits Operations to Essential Services
Posted: Mar 13, 2020

From the Government of Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways

For Immediate Release

March 13, 2020

 Batchewana Limits Operations to Essential Services

 Sault Ste. Marie, ON - Today, the Batchewana First Nation (BFN) Pandemic planning committee convened and discussed the best path forward for Batchewana First Nation and how to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be advised that the Chief and Council is taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the ongoing health and safety of our employees and membership.

 After a thorough discussion regarding the unfortunate reality that First Nations are deemed a low priority by the Canadian Government’s health system and as a result of our ailing population the Government of Batchewana must take proactive measures. Therefore, it was decided that the best path forward is to minimize all operations and move towards essential services for the next three weeks beginning on March 16, 2020.

 Essential services will consist of Health, Niigaanin, Housing, Crisis Shelter, Police Services, Operations & Maintenance (as well identified administration as required). The BFN administration office and the BFN health centre will be open Monday – Friday from 1:00pm- 4:00pm. All visitors are advised that the only access doors open will be the front doors of both buildings.

 Any clients, members, guest or vendors visiting the offices during this time who show signs of sickness, such as coughing or sneezing may be asked to reschedule their visits to a new time or be asked to wear protective equipment available at the front desks, such as masks or hand sanitizer. 

Every effort will be made to ensure that the needs of our vulnerable members will be accommodated but we are asking everyone to call, check in and help your elderly family, friends and those needing a little extra assistance. 

All programs, activities and events will be cancelled during the closure. The Rankin Arena and Bingo Hall will also be closed during this time.

 Chief and Council is strongly recommending that everyone cancel personal travel plans and limit travel unless absolutely necessary.

 The BFN pandemic planning committee will be meeting weekly to assess the situation and provide updates to staff and community. We ask all community members to keep themselves informed through the BFN website (, facebook page and watch for hand delivered flyers (on reserve).


Emergency Contacts

Housing: Lisa McCormick (705) 255-1870

Niigaanin: Rhonda A. Lesage (705)257-8581

Health: Renee Rousselle at (705) 943-9255