Multiple Indigenous Communities Calling For Families To Pull Children From Northland Division Schools Over COVID-19 Situation

Multiple Indigenous communities in the RMWB are calling for parents and guardians to remove their students from all Northland School Division schools.

In a statement, Chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Allan Adam says they’re encouraging this measure to ensure students, teachers, and staff at the schools are safe from COVID-19.

The region remains the worst in the province when it comes to spread of the virus. Wood Buffalo is averaging nearly 1,500 cases per 100,000 individuals.

“This is not a measure we take lightly but it’s for the good of not just our people, but the whole region,” said Adam.

Students at the Fort McMurray Catholic School District and Public School Division are currently learning virtually from home.

The province approved the request earlier this week as multiple schools have seen several classes needing to self-isolate due to be close contacts with positive COVID-19 cases.

“Why is it that Minister LeGrange agreed to close down the Public and Catholic school systems in Fort McMurray, but refused to do the same for the Indigenous and rural communities?” added Kendrick Cardinal, President of the Fort Chipewyan Métis.

According to a spokesperson from Alberta Education, they haven’t received a request from the division to move back to virtual learning.

Meanwhile, Curtis Walty, the Media Relations Manager for Northland,  says they plan to ensure all students receive a proper education whether at school or at home.

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