During a special meeting on Monday night, the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council chose not to implement a 14-day stay at home order on the reservation.
The reservation has been closed to all non-essential travel for several months now, and there was speculation that a stay at home order for people living in Browning, Heart Butte, and the surrounding areas was coming. The speculation was largely sparked by a Facebook post from Blackfeet COVID-19 Incident Command on Monday morning stating that there were 68 active cases of COVID-19 on the reservation.
During the meeting, which was also posted on the COVID-19 Incident Command’s Facebook page, Tribal Business Council Chairman Timothy Davis did say that people should not go anywhere they don't have to, and that the guidelines are in place to protect members of the Blackfeet nation.
The council also reinforced the importance of social distancing and masks moving forward.
“We did have a recommendation from the HIS (Indian Health Service), which, up until now, they’ve been very reluctant to openly make those recommendations,” explained Councilman Rodney Gervais. “As of Saturday, they brought that forth for us to really think about. They did want us to think about a shutdown for the Blackfeet Nation. As of today, that tune kind of changed after we got to visiting and we got to talk about what was the best plan of action for the Blackfeet people, and it is to stay the course. It is to maintain what we have now, which is a recommended stay at home order but to also tighten up the regulations, to start enforcing better on the curfew, enforcing better on the wearing of the masks, as well as those individuals who have been ordered to quarantine or isolate. That’s what we’re going to do. I call upon the Blackfeet people, please start doing our part, we have to protect one another. It is the love of our nation that we have to put in our hearts and carry on with that, and I’ll certainly do my part, and we ask that everyone does theirs.”