(Toronto, ON, March 11, 2021) Today, the Ontario Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald, issued the following statement to mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, by commemorating the National Day of Observance for COVID-19.

“Today, together with the Chiefs across Ontario, we are marking the National Day of Observance for COVID-19 and honouring those whose lives were claimed by the novel coronavirus,” said Regional Chief Archibald.

“I acknowledge all First Nations leaders who have led their communities safely through the pandemic, along with caring and dedicated health care providers and essential services workers, who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic since the beginning.

One year ago, our lives, families, and communities were forever changed. We were presented with a new set of challenges and had to adjust quickly to fluid situations. I want to express my deepest gratitude to First Nations leadership and community members in Ontario for taking care of each other and protecting their communities amidst the many economic and social inequities that the pandemic has highlighted.

As we collectively reflect upon this past year, we must remember that we all play an essential role in this battle against COVID-19 and must remain vigilant in adhering to all public health advice and safety measures to keep our communities safe. If you’re able, this includes receiving your COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available within your community to do your part in protecting our Elders, families and friends.

Today, I encourage each person to take a moment of silence to remember those who joined the spirit world while looking forward to better days ahead, with hope and optimism.”

Ninanaskamon!

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald

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The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

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