Six Nations closes access to community after customers rush on tobacco, gas

SIX NATIONS – Six Nations took drastic action Sunday immediately halting anyone who is not a band member from entering the territory.

This after traffic in and around the reserve was backed up several kilometres and long lines of patrons stood outside Six Nations gas and smoke shops Saturday and Sunday, following an announcement the community was closing access to non-band members on March 31.

The community confirmed two cases of SARS-CoV-2 in two of it’s members Sunday, one of them a Six Nations Police officer.

Six Nations of the Grand River released a statement on Sunday evening saying that due to the rush of people coming into the community and increased risk to local businesses and residents that they were bumping up the earlier timeline and, effective immediately, were restricting access to Six Nations to band members only.

Just before 6:00 p.m. SNGR asked all non-essential businesses to close their doors immediately.

“We are doing this action to support the business that are experiencing this overcrowding at their business.  Also, effective immediately, we are asking all businesses to shut down operations.  Please keep in mind, we are taking such action to reduce community transmission which happens when people come in close contact with one another.”

This followed a statement from the council on Saturday, and a list published to its social media accounts identifying the community’s essential services and requesting non-essential businesses and smoke shops to close during an interview with CKRZ.

However council later retracted that statement at around 8:00 p.m. and now say “all essential businesses within Six Nations will remain operational”.

TRT reached out to SNGR for clarification on the retraction, but has not received a response at this time.

“Public Works is working quickly to install safety barriers at all access points in the territory,” said the statement. SNGR says there will be 8 points of entry to the reserve where travellers will be asked for their reason for entering the community. Volunteers were to undergo training Sunday to help man those entry points.

“We are asking everyone to remain calm, take all necessary health precautions and most of all, STAY HOME,” said SNGR.

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