Indigenous committees, communities announce plans as COVID-19 measures lift

As provincial COVID-19 mandates and measures are lifted, several Indigenous committees and communities have announced their plans and shared new resources. The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) shared new public health guidance for K-12 schools and advised that schools should make their decisions based on the best interests of their students. In Manitoba, Frontier School Division is the only school of its kind to continue with a mask mandate for students in K-12. The Chief Superintendent Reg Klassen explained that many northern communities are not ready for such a shift yet, and pointed to serious COVID-19 outbreaks in First Nations served by schools in the division. The Record reports that the mask mandate, physical distancing, and cohorting will be in place until at least April 21st. In Nova Scotia, the Eskasoni School Board has temporarily suspended classes as a circuit-breaker effort due to high COVID-19 rates in the First Nation’s community and dropping student attendance. Indigenous education authority Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey stated that Eskasoni is the only First Nation to cancel classes.

FNSA | The Record | CBC