Community moves into Phase 2 of reopening; more local events cancelled

OHSWEKEN — Six Nations has transitioned into a return to business and newly implemented safety measures this week. Even so, several more community events are being cancelled well into the summer and autumn seasons.

Now, community safety measures include the release of Six Nations Health and Safety guidelines leading area businesses in how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On June 15, Six Nations saw the return of health and medical services, hair salons, tattoo services and day spas.

Retail operations were allowed to resume serving the public. Chiefswood Park re-opened to the public and community sports fields opened as well.

While local businesses have re-opened there are still community restrictions in place including a limit of 10 people for outside gatherings.

SNGR says community restaurant dining rooms, gyms and fitness centres and community playgrounds will remain closed until further notice.

Additionally the Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre grounds and all facilities in it’s space, which are now being used for the community coronavirus testing location, will remain closed as the community rides out the global pandemic.

“We have a lot to be proud of this Solidarity Day. As a community, we have come together and flattened our curve to the point that our Emergency Control Group felt confident in entering the second stage of Project: Protect our People,” says SNGR Elected Chief Mark Hill. “But we must remain vigilant and continue to protect ourselves and each other to avoid a return to of the virus and stricter measures.”

Yet despite the community re-opening a modified return to business, local events for 2020 continue to be cancelled.

Six Nations Agricultural Society announced the 153rd Six Nations Fall Fair will be cancelled this year, delivering the announcement in a post on the organization’s Facebook page.

“With the safety of our community as our top priority, the Six Nations Agricultural Society (SNAS) has decided to cancel the fair due to COVID-19. After much consideration and discussion of the uncertainties of the next coming months, SNAS is confident our community will support our decision,” wrote SNAC President Freeman Johnson. “We too are disappointed as we have worked very hard these past few years to bring our fall fair back to life, making it an event our community can look forward to and be proud of. We are already planning for next year to make it bigger and one of the best yet!”

That is not the first fall fair in the region to announce they are cancelling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week Paris Fair organizers announced they have called off this year’s event. This year marks 162 years since the Paris Fair has been in operation.

The Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show is also calling it off for 2020 out of precautions due to coronavirus.

The announcement was made via a statement to the organization’s Facebook page. “The safety and well-being of our community, volunteers, exhibitors, partners and fair patrons always comes first. Please be assured that this decision was made out of an abundance of caution for all.”

This would have been the 180th anniversary celebration of the Norfolk County Fair.

Several other local events have also opted to cancel events planned for 2020.

Six Nations Police moved to cancel the 24th Annual Memorial golf tournament this week.

Six Nations annual Grand River ‘Champion of Champions’ Pow Wow announced it’s cancellation earlier this year.

Local sports seasons across the board have announced they are not happening. Six Nations Rebels learned they will not be playing this year after Ontario Junior and Senior league games were cancelled.

Other teams to have seasons cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic include Major Series Lacrosse, Senior Women’s Box Lacrosse League and Six Nations Minor Lacrosse.

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