In what appears to be a scheduled full lockdown of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation according to the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Chief and Council SVDN Governance Facebook page, a checkstop in and out of the community was in full effect Monday.
According to the post, this lockdown will be ongoing until Wednesday.
The Sun contacted Chief Jennifer Bone by telephone but she declined to comment at press time to verify the roadblock and whether it was connected to the scheduled lockdown.
In a letter titled Community Notice, dated April 26 on the SVDN Governance Facebook page, it stated that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sioux Valley "has implemented a wide variety of public health measures within a number of respective jurisdictions to prevent and to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission, including implementing restrictive measures such as stay at home orders, closures of public gathering places such as schools, daycare, non-essential business, and restrictions on gatherings and travel."
The letter went on to state: "to date, poor adherence or complete disregard to these implementation measures are now threatening the well-being of the community. All members must do their part within our pandemic response and recovery plan to minimize overall deaths and minimize disruption as a result of the COVID-19 measures.
The community notice when on to state that as of April 26 the community contact list had "exceeded 160 members."
"This is not sustainable in the course of time," the letter stated.
On the SVDN Governance community dashboard, on April 27, the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation off-reserve members indicated there were 15 active cases of COVID-19, zero new cases, four variants of concern, 59 confirmed cases and three hospitalizations.
On May 2, the update on the dashboard indicated a total of 30 active cases, three new cases, 13 variants of concern, one person in an intensive care unit, 69 confirmed cases and five hospitalizations.
In a press release by the province on April 23, it said in the Prairie Mountain Health region, public health advised of possible exposure to the B.1.1.7 variant of concern at Sioux Valley Community Church at 11 a.m. on April 11 and at Skownan Hall on Skownan First Nation on April 12.
This is in addition to a Facebook update on May 3, by Chief Norman Bone of Birdtail Sioux First Nation, who wrote there were 31 positive cases in Keeseekoowenin First Nation. That’s up from the 28 cases reported on April 28. "We now have assistance happening in testing by a rapid testing unit," he stated. "We are still advising all to stay within your home or yards and only to travel for purchases of goods."