Nisga'a warn of suspected COVID-19 exposure following funeral of renowned leader Joseph Gosnell Sr.

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      Indigenous communities across British Columbia have been among the most vigilant in trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

      That's in part because their elders, who are most at risk, are vital in retaining languages and oral histories.

      But last night, the Nisga'a Emergency Preparedness Committee disclosed that there has been a suspected COVID-19 exposure involving someone who travelled to the Nass Valley between August 17 and 28.

      The Nisga'a Valley Health Authority wants all attendees at a memorial, funeral, or settlement feast in Gitlaxt'aamiks from August 21 to 25 to contact their health authority.

      In addition, the NVHA points out that those who attended services on August 24 and 25 must begin 14 days of self-isolation. In addition, they must adhere to travel restrictions and participate in lab testing and contact tracing.

      SFU Morris Wosk Centre for Dialogue Indigenous fellow Ginger Gosnell-Myers stated over Twitter that the funeral was for her uncle, Joseph Gosnell Sr.

      Also known by his Indigenous name Sim'oogit Hleek, Gosnell was a widely admired Nisga'a hereditary chief who led negotiations on the first modern treaty in B.C. history.

      At the time of his death at the age of 84, he was chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia.

      This procession for the late Dr. Joseph Gosnell took place on August 21.