Important Updates To Services & Supports For W̱SÁNEĆ Community Members During COVID-19

In times like these, our priority is to do everything we can to keep our families, friends, coworkers, and team members safe. 

To be successful in reducing further impacts of COVID-19, it’s critical each community member has access to accurate and up to date information regarding services, best practices and supports available during this time. 

The Chiefs and Councils of each community and the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council are working hard to ensure that supports for our most vulnerable community members are available while protecting the health and safety of all staff.

As such, we’ve compiled a list of up to date changes to services, building closures and supports available for W̱SÁNEĆ community members.

Administration Building Closures:

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council team are working remotely. While the building is closed effective immediately, team members are still accessible via email and mobile phone.

To send an email, please fill out the form on the contact page or contact:

Gord Elliott, Director of Operations: (778) 977-4342 

Eric Pelkey, Community Engagement Coordinator: (250) 880-2457

Kristen Bill, Office Manager: (250) 686-6842

Shauna Johnson, Marine Use Planner: (250) 788-8545

Justin Fritz, Policy/Negotiations Advisor: (250) 886-8986

Joni Olsen, W̱SÁNEĆ CRD Liaison: (250) 516-3206

Tsartlip remote work announcement:

The Tsartlip Health Office and Administration will be working from home.
Click here to read the full announcement / get contact details
Read the Chief’s Announcement


Tsawout remote work announcement:

The Tsawout administration building will be closed, office and health staff will be working remotely. Click here to read the full announcement 

Tseycum COVID-19 announcement

Read the chief’s announcement on Facebook, here

Health Questions and Support Services

You can phone the nurse’s line at 8-1-1 to get information on COVID-19 screening or processes.


The province has created a phone service to provide non-medical information

about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and

social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, 7:30 am – 8

pm at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 604-630-0300.

Or, visit

Tsartlip Health Staff

Heather Hastings
Phone: 778-678-7180 


Tsawout Health Staff

Are available and in the office as usual.

Tseycum Health Staff

Contact Kelli Telford

Be Informed: 

It’s important to have accurate information about risks, proper health protocols, and what to do if you or your loved one get sick.

Keep checking the BC Centre for Disease Control website for reliable news and updates.

The FAQ’s section is a great place to start.

Economic Supports and Emergency Funds for all Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic:

On March 18, The Prime Minister announced Canada’s COVID 19 economic support plan which includes providing income supports for vulnerable Canadians, including: 

  1. GST credit increases for low-income Canadians, up to $400 for single adults and $600 for couples Child Tax benefit top-up of $300 per child added on top of normal funds.
  2. Student loan payments from Canada Student Loans can be deferred for 6-months without incurring additional interest. 
  3. $350 million Indigenous community-based support fund
  4. $200 million provided for community resources including increased supports for the homeless population and women and children fleeing violence
  5. 10% wage subsidy for small-medium sized businesses for employees
  6. $50 Billion dollars in an Ensured Mortgage Protection Program which allows for payment deferrals and special payment arrangements
  7. Secured Bank support, on a case by case basis to increase the flexibility of loan and credit payments.
  8. The Personal Income Tax deadline for income tax payments owed has been extended to September. 1st/2020 and the filing deadline for Income Tax has been extended to June.1st/2020

The direct emergency support fund totals $27 Billion.

Read the whole article here:

National Chief Perry Bellegarde of Assembly of First Nations on COVID-19 and Canada’s Economic Response Plan

The Prime Minister announced on March 18, $305 million for an Indigenous Communities Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. The Prime Minister stated this Fund will be “distinctions-based,” recognizing the distinct nature of needs and priorities amongst First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. 

The Assembly of First Nations is working to get more details as soon as possible on this fund, including how it will be allocated or accessed.
Read the full announcement


Wellness reminders:

We want to acknowledge these are unprecedented times that can create fear and anxiety. It is completely understandable if you feel this way. Make sure you’re taking care of your basic needs for food, water, movement and sleep. Don’t forget to check in with your loved ones, just to say hi. Get outside in the beautiful spring air and focus on what you can control. 

It’s our hope that by responding so strongly we can reduce the impact of the pandemic over the next while.

Social Distancing Dos and Do Not’s:

Social distancing is the main precaution that will slow the spread of the virus. We cannot stress enough how important this practice is. W̱SÁNEĆ leadership are asking that the following advisory be strictly followed:

Do Not:

  1. Hockey practice
    Soccer practice
  2. 11, 6, Doubles Canoeing
  3. Social parties
  4. Drinking parties
  5. Birthday parties
  6. Sleepovers
  7. Fundraisers
  8. Teen hangouts
  9. Share marijuana joints
  10. Share drug paraphernalia
  11. Cook for others
  12. Be within 6 feet of others

Okay to do:

  1. Walk, jog or hike 6 feet apart
  2. Single canoeing
  3. Biking 
  4. Medicine harvesting
  5. Family time with own household
  6. Yardwork 
  7. BBQ with own household
  8. Stay 6ft away from others
  9. Play on field only if 6ft apart
  10. Grocery shop only when necessary

Staying Informed

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is the most relevant source for COVID-19 related information relating to First Nations. FNHA has activated its Public Health Response Team and is constantly monitoring and reacting to updated COVID-19 information, and regularly updating its website.

For detailed information on COVID-19 and impacts for First Nations, please visit the First Nations Health Authority for daily updates

Read the FNLC Communication to First Nations

For additional daily information updates please visit the following:
BC Ministry of Health COVID-19 Information page
BC Centre for Disease Control:

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Social distancing is the main precaution that will slow the spread of the virus. We cannot stress enough how important this practice is. W̱SÁNEĆ leadership are asking that the following advisory be strictly followed.