GRFN declares State of Emergency and will limit access in and out of the main village


As a direct result of the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis, Chief and Council of Garden River First Nation has declared a State of Emergency. This requires immediate action to prevent, reduce and mitigate infection to our citizens.

By authority of Chief and Council we are temporarily restricting access to our community along Highway 17B and all access points which runs through the main village of Garden River effective Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 12 noon and will be in place until May 1, 2020.  If the pandemic continues to threaten the health of our community we will extend if necessary.  The 4 Lane Highway 17 East (bypass) will not be affected by this closure.

This decision came down to the safety and protection of our most vulnerable who are our knowledge keepers, elderly, children and those members with underlying health conditions. Historically our people have been devastated by diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis and are disadvantaged physically, financially and socially impacting our capacity to fight the COVID-19 virus.

In order to preserve our knowledge keepers and our way of life, it is important that we temporarily limit access to our community – just for the time being.  As friends and neighbours, we hope that you understand that we are isolating for the preservation of our people.  The door will open when we get through this crisis. We appreciate your patience and understanding.


  1. rama has followed suite. closing all businesses curve lake sounds smartest as they ask you only visit for commerce leaving businesses to open as they see fit, and wait until the all clear to visit for other reasons. they have protected their vulnerable people and they have also protected the financial interests of other members there. the wholesale closure of any community is a devestating hit to the local economy and the orders to do so immoral. resist the temp
    tation to entrust to those who have lied to us all consistantly all of our lives.

  2. If they are that concerned about us going through the reserve should we not be equally concerned about them coming off the reserve,ie groceries. Aren’t they concerned about someone going off the reserve to get groceries or such and bringing it back to the reserve or vice versa, them bringing something on the reserve off of the reserve

  3. I assume this also means the GRFN residents will not be leaving to travel into the Sault for groceries etc.? If not, this restriction would make no sense.

      • The point he is making that you fail to grasp is what’s the point? It’s like putting up barricades between Heyden or even Blocking off neighborhoods. Ridiculous, especially considering they will be using our hospitals.

        • JWP, simply put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. I live on a private road which the general public really has no reason to travel at any time. I too have no issue stating that unless someone has a reason to visit my small community, I would prefer they not put us at risk and would actually in a respectful way voice that opinion to anyone attempting to do so. After this has passed, we will be the first to welcome family and friends over for a beverage anytime. Exactly what GRFN stated. So because I feel this way, I shouldn’t expect to be able to travel into town for groceries? Why fault ohers for making any effort possible to help Flatten the Curve and ensure those at risk such as seniors and those with underlying medical conditions remain as safe as possible? Not like anyone needs to head down 17B to get anywhere. Our area now has a few confirmed cases from close contact and I think every small community should be taking as many precautions as possible. It will only get worse if we don’t all do our part. Very stressful and trying times for everyone.

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