A photo of a sign in the Nass Valley that says “Nisga’a Locals Only” has been circulating on social media. (Facebook Photo)

A photo of a sign in the Nass Valley that says “Nisga’a Locals Only” has been circulating on social media. (Facebook Photo)

NLG activates Nisga’a Emergency Program Act in response to COVID-19, discourages visitation from non-locals

Nass Valley closes to visitors, hot springs shut down

The Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) has announced to the public what measures they will be taking to mitigate and control COVID-19 within Nisga’a Lands.

On March 19, NLG released a public statement that they are activating the Nisga’a Emergency Program Act and are canceling all large gatherings, closing public buildings and provincial parks which includes the Hlgu Isgwit Hot Springs to everyone.

“The Nisga’a Nation will abide by the WHO and Provincial and Federal directives for the duration of this COVID-19 Pandemic,” NLG president Eva Clayton is quoted in the release.

“It is very important we take this seriously to protect our people from COVID-19.”

In conjunction with the Provincial State of Emergency in B.C. announced this week, these measures were decided to prevent the spread of Coronavirus after meeting with Nisga’a Lisims Executives, the Nisga’a villages, Nisga’a Urban Locals alongside health, education and police officials.

READ MORE: City of Terrace closes all buildings and facilities to public following COVID-19 pandemic spike

These implementations include postponing the biennial Special Assembly of the Nisga’a Nation scheduled this May 11 to 15 in Laxgalts’ap to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Nisga’a Treaty.

For everyone, this means the Provincial Memorial Lava Bed Park and the Health Springs will be closed indefinitely as a health precaution.

Large cement blocks have been placed to prevent vehicle traffic from parking at the Hot Springs site. The spring water from the wood tubs and the larger natural pool has also been drained.

In another press release that day, the Nisga’a Fisheries and Wildlife Department announced the 2020 Fish and Wildlife Community Consultation in Gitwinksihlkw on March 23 has also been cancelled.

Organizations situated in the Nass Valley including the Lisims Nass Valley RCMP detachment and School District #92 will be meeting regularly to provide updates and continue to issue public notices on the NLG website and social media platforms.

Any external meetings NLG has scheduled away from the Nass Valley will be done via alternative means such as video or teleconferencing.


 


natalia@terracestandard.com

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The Hot Springs in the Nass Valley have closed until further notice to avoid the spread of COVID-19. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

The Hot Springs in the Nass Valley have closed until further notice to avoid the spread of COVID-19. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)