Message from Tribal Chief & CEO Edmund Bellegarde

Message from Tribal Chief & CEO

Edmund Bellegarde

Happy New Year and welcome 2021!

It is the new calendar year and the beginning of the last quarter (Q4) for the fiscal year. While our doors remain closed to the public; business continues.  

This past year has shown our organizations’ grit through the successes we achieved in innovation and resourcefulness during a global pandemic of COVID-19, making it one of the most memorable years yet.  

The effects of the pandemic have reached and impacted our eleven (11) member First Nations, our Tribal Council organization, and shared Entities—All Nations Healing Hospital, Leading Thunder Bird Lodge, Silver Sage Housing, Regina Treaty Status Indian Services, FHQ Developments, Qu’Appelle Haven Safe Shelter (Fort Qu’Appelle), Wichihik Iskwewak Safe Shelter (Regina).  

As the second and third level service provider for First Nations in the region and in some cases primary first-level program and service provider to clients, this pandemic immediately created increased demands in supports, services and advocacy with, for, and alongside First Nations leadership and citizens.  

I would now like to commend each one of the employees and teams within our organization. I am incredibly proud of your commitment and dedication to continue our service delivery; in new innovative ways to ensure the safety of all. The transition from day-to-day business operations to a full-time virtual work environment that utilizes available and new technology was challenging; I want to thank you. Your personal and collective efforts have made and continue to make a difference. I believe the new year offers optimism and that this pandemic environment will subside. 

That said, I want to say we are very fortunate to have FHQTC Health Services and the All Nations Healing Hospital here in our region and as part of our Tribal Council and Touchwood Agency Tribal Council. Our Health Services team’s presence has been remarkable –the community health nurses have and continue to be an asset for our population. I want to give a special shout out and praise to our Community Health Nurses who have been working non-stop to provide services to our member First Nations around the clock and throughout the holiday season. They have been present in every member First Nation communities that are a part of FHQTC Health Services, to provide the option of mass citizen testing locally. Their continued efforts allowed us to offer testing to our employees earlier this week at the head office. 

I also want to take some time to commend our First Nation leaderships, their Pandemic teams, and citizens for all the work being done to mitigate and stop the virus from spreading. We have seen some presence of the virus within this region. Still, it is your efforts combined with the First Nations implementation of increased border security checks, curfews, and the supports to citizens who are self-isolating that are mitigating the case rate.  

To the citizens and community of FHQTC and Fort Qu’Appelle, I encourage us each to continue our commitment to minimize and stop the virus from entering our homes. It is the efforts of the following that makes a difference— travelling for essentials (with designated family shopper),

 wearing a mask, keeping to your reduced family/social bubble, regular cleaning and sanitizing of common areas, as well as sanitizing hands regularly throughout the day and when outside the home.  

The Tribal Council appreciates the same level of caution you practice at your home as you do at the office. 

The Tribal Council is continuing business from the foundation that the safety of our employees and clients is paramount. As we go about our business, we will continue to rely on, encourage and practice our cultural and traditional ways as we overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.  

For us here in Treaty 4 territory and the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council region, I would like to take this time to wish each one of you an upcoming year of good health, good minds (mental wellness), and safety for you and your loved ones in this new year.

Edmund Bellegarde

Tribal Chief & CEO

File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council