Tsawout Emergency Resource Page

Community Updates:

APRIL 22, 2020 – Education Department Update

We meet daily during the week and we can offer support to you for your children attending school. We are willing to be an advocate if you need support communicating to the school(s) for your child’s/ren’s academic or emotional needs.

If you have lost your job due to Covid-19 and need support applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit please reach out.

Let us know if you want to update your cover letter and/or resume.

We are here to support your Education, Language Learning and Employment planning.

Stelly’s Secondary School Update

Please download and read the Stelly’s Secondary School’s update regarding Covid-19 and what to expect going forward.

Education Department Team

Coreen Child, Tsawout Education Manager: educationmanager@tsawout.ca
Stephanie Adams, Tsawout Learning House Coordinator: sadams@tsawout.ca
Tabita Marks, Tsawout Head Start Coordinator: tmarks@tsawout.ca
Haley Sylvester, Tsawout Language Nest Coordinator: hsylvester@tsawout.ca
Lillian Underwood, Tsawout Employment Counsellor: employment@tsawout.ca

April 15, 2020 – Social Development Update 

Our Department will be contacting clients over the phone to do declarations, if they have not already done so. The majority of phone numbers on file are not in service. If you have a new phone please contact Nicole (438) 700-3536  or Angelina at (506) 705-2114 (these are Text Only numbers to update your contact). Or by email at agarcia@tsawout.ca or adminsupport@tsawout.ca.

This is the best way to get a hold of Social Development for any questions or concerns. Please bear with us as we are doing our best at the moment. Moving forward this is how declarations will be done until the office re-opens. If you need to drop off BC Hydro bills or phone bills, someone will be at the front desk to meet you at the door. If no one is at the front please text the number above and one of us will meet you at the front door. This is all to ensure health and safety guidelines.

Thank you,
Nicole and Angelina

APRIL 10, 2020 – Shared Message from SDEMOXELWET – Mary Ann Sam Tsawout Council Member

For Immediate Release
April 9, 2020
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Emergency Management BC
Stay safe by staying home over the long weekend
VICTORIA – Over the Easter long weekend, British Columbians are asked to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding all non-essential travel, staying home and finding virtual ways to connect and celebrate with family and friends.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO), has indicated that the next few weeks are critical in managing this pandemic, so it’s more important than ever to continue to follow public health guidelines and practise physical distancing to prevent further spread. Though the long weekend is normally a time when people go out for recreation, celebration and connection, the provincial health officer is urging British Columbians to stay home to help flatten the curve.
Here is some important information and tips that can help British Columbians ensure that everyone can enjoy the long weekend, while following the public safety guidelines set by the provincial health officer.
Follow public health orders and guidelines
British Columbians are asked to continue to maintain physical distancing, as well as take these other important measures to limit the spread of COVID-19:
  • Stay home for at least 10 days if you have any symptoms of illness. After 10 days, if your temperature is normal and you feel better, you can return to your routine activities. Coughing may persist for several weeks, so a cough alone does not mean you need to continue to self-isolate for more than 10 days.
  • Stay at least two metres (over six feet) away from other people outside your household.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • British Columbians who are returning from abroad need to prepare a self-isolation plan before returning to the country to keep our communities safe. Guidance for those returning from international destinations is available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Factsheet_Returning_Travelers.pdf
  • Anyone who has friends or family members who are coming home from abroad are encouraged to help them understand the new rules related to COVID-19. Guidance for families of those returning home is available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Factsheet_Returning_Family.pdf
  • More information for returning travellers is available here: www.gov.bc.ca/returningtravellers
Safely mark holidays and religious observances
At this time, the PHO is reminding everyone to continue practising physical distancing, avoid large gatherings and stay away from others if ill. That includes religious and other celebratory gatherings that typical take place during this long weekend for Easter, Passover and Vaisakhi.
Many faith-based organizations are finding ways to virtually connect to continue to observe occasions in a safe way. Or, look for creative and innovative ways to safely observe the holiday by attending virtual services or using FaceTime, Zoom or Skype to stay in touch with other members of your community.
Avoid non-essential travel and recreation
The transportation network is essential for maintaining the critical supply chain for food, goods and medicine, and ensuring people have access to essential goods and services. There are currently no plans to shut down any of B.C.’s public roads, but now is not the time to travel for tourism or recreation. By temporarily avoiding non-essential travel, British Columbians can do their part to protect vulnerable people in communities from COVID-19.
Things to keep in mind over this long weekend include:
  • Don’t visit vacation properties
    • This is not the time to travel to secondary homes or vacation properties in other communities. It’s not only important stay home and maintain physical distancing, but access to resources and health care may be more challenging in smaller communities if someone should become ill or if there’s a community outbreak. By staying home, British Columbians can take pressure off the already strained resources in these smaller areas.
  • BC Parks are closed
    •  Finding ways to maintain safe distances has been an ongoing challenge in some of B.C.’s more popular parks and recreation sites. This is why BC Parks has announced an immediate closure of all provincial parks. Also closed are all federal parks, as well as campgrounds and amenities run by B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Parks will reopen as soon as the provincial health officer indicates it’s safe to do so.
  • Keep search and rescue volunteers safe
    • With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is higher risk for B.C.’s 2,500 search-and-rescue volunteers, as there is a risk of virus transmission during a call to help those who have been lost, stranded or injured in B.C.’s outdoors. With more people staying home, search and rescue calls have dropped by 50%. However, British Columbians are asked to do their part and not to venture into the wilderness at this time.
Things you can do close to home
  • Virtual visits
    • Instead of visiting families and friends in person, look for creative and innovative ways to safely connect with friends and family, such as virtual coffee dates and using FaceTime, Zoom or Skype to stay in touch.
  • Safe recreation
    • Getting outside for fresh air and exercise is important – so long as family can keep a safe distance of at least two metres from others outside their household.
    • Some parks and beaches have closed because they’re too busy. There are many other quieter outdoor spaces to enjoy, so long as everyone can keep a safe physical distance.
    • Being outdoors, walking pets and physical activities, such as going for a bike ride are all safe, so long as a safe physical distance is maintained.
  • Help elderly or vulnerable neighbours
    • The PHO is encouraging people to be kind and support each other as much as possible.
    • Elderly or vulnerable people may need assistance collecting groceries or prescriptions.
    • Need help? Call 211, a B.C. service that matches seniors with volunteers during the pandemic.
  • Spring clean but keep donations for now
    • With everyone staying at home, it’s a great time to do some spring cleaning.
    • However, with the current physical distancing orders in place, most charities are not currently picking up goods from their donation bins right now.
    • For now, hold onto your donations. Please don’t leave them around the donation bins.
  • Protect your home from floods and wildfire
    • British Columbians should make sure they are prepared for all emergencies, and this time at home is a good opportunity to reduce flood and wildfire risks.
    • Take time to clean gutters, maintain perimeter drains, clear storm drains of debris, ensure waterspouts are away from residences, and complete some simple landscaping to manage run-off.
    • Make sure to thin and trim trees, shrubs and other vegetation, and remove dead brush and other flammable material from the property. Also, make sure to use fire-resistant building and landscaping materials.
Learn More:
For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: https://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter
For additional mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MMHA0009-000655
For the provincial health officer’s orders, notices and guidance, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/phoguidance
For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/Covid-19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Any change to provincial park access or services will be posted to the BC Parks website: https://bcparks.ca
For status updates on RSTBC campgrounds, visit:
FireSmart homeowner’s manual was developed to help reduce the risk of personal property damage due to wildfires. It is available online here: www.gov.bc.ca/firesmart
COVID-19 Joint Information Centre
Media Relations
236 478-1336
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Remote Learning Tips & School Contacts

APRIL 3, 2020 – Update from Simi Ono – Tsawout Community Health Nurse

We are living through unprecedented times with the current Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. As a health team, we are trying to do whatever we can to continue to care for our community while balancing the risk of spread of the disease. 

Upon direction from Provincial Health Authorities and the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals, we will continue to provide nursing services on an essential basis. We did not make this decision lightly and are fully aware of the critical importance that health and well-being plays in our daily lives, especially during times of crisis.

Until advised otherwise, from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday, we will be taking phone calls and seeing members one at a time for essential care on a case by base basis.  We have been directed to protect ourselves and our patients against Coronavirus spread which means only one community member can be permitted into the office at a time, and must be scheduled by calling us at 250-652-1149. We will have limited health staff on-site throughout the week.

Lois Williams, Health Manager

Will be available by phone to hear questions or concerns. To reach Lois, please call the Health office at 250-652-1149, extension 201.

Kelly Sharp, Nurse Practitioner

Will continue to be on site at the Tsawout Health Department and available for phone appointments and for essential visits on Tuesdays/Thursdays. To make an appointment with Kelly, please call Andresa at the health office, 250-652-1149, extension 210.

Simi Ono, Community Health Nurse, RN

Will continue to be on site at the Tsawout Health Department and available for phone appointments and essential visits on a various days of the week. To reach Simi, please call the Health office at 250-652-1149, extension 208.

Katherine Sebastiano, Homecare Nurse, LPN

Will be working from home and reach out to community members by phone to provide essential wellness check-ins. To reach Katherine, please call the Health office at 250-652-1149, extension 211.

Cathy Webster, Health Administration

Will be available to take phone calls and connect you with the health care team. To reach Cathy, please call or leave a voicemail at the main Health office number at 250-652-1149. If you reach voice mail greeting, please leave your name, telephone number and a short message, as messages are checked on a regular basis. 


24 Hour Crisis Line via Vancouver Island Crisis Line       1 -888- 494 -3888

Mathew with Men’s Group Tsawout

Is available to offer support/guidance on how to access Mental Health Resources.
To reach Mathew call or text at  250-634-3478 Monday-Friday from 9-4 pm.

Essential Care will be available to all our community members from babies, children, youth, adults and elders. As health care professionals, we will carefully assess each situation case by case. As health care professionals we are guided by provincial guidelines and nursing practice standards to determine what is Essential care. Please click on the link for further information. 


We look forward to seeing you again once things are back to normal and it is safe.  We are thinking about all of our community members at this critical time when continuing with social distancing and/or self-isolation as needed. Thank you for taking these essential steps to keep our community safe and healthy.

Please do not hesitate to call the health department with any of your questions or concerns. Thank you to all our community members for their prayers, kind words of encouragement and well-wishes to keep our team safe. 

With gratitude,

Health care team

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MARCH 30, 2020 – Simi Ono (Community Health Nurse)

Coping with COVID-19

Please see these additional resources regarding Coronvirus and COVID-19 as we continue to help community members with up to date information and help you stay safe & healthy.

MARCH 24, 2020 – Message from Chief Nick Claxton to Tsawout Community Members:

ÍY, SȻÁĆEL HÁLE/Greetings all of my Tsawout family,

On behalf of Tsawout First Nation leadership, I wanted to reach out to our community.

If there was ever a time and need to acknowledge our Tsawout ancestry, this is the time.

Although we all may be scared and confused by this pandemic; we all need to be reminded we are all in this together, we are not alone.

Although health officials across this country are learning each day/hour how to respond to this virus; let’s not forget our elder’s teachings of being kind to each other, and to also remember the laws teachings and beliefs of our creator XÁLS.

Exercise social distance; do not be part of transferring or carrying the virus.

Tsawout First Nation Leadership is taking this covid-19 pandemic very seriously. Please be assured that we are thinking of our elders, infants/toddler‘s, community members at large and service providers. We are taking action to protect our community and also to provide emergency relief.

This pandemic is something that is new to each and every one of us. Please be assured we are taking every precaution for safety, while maintaining and providing essential services to all.

We request to each and all; take this virus seriously, it is actually taking lives.

  • We are doing what we can
  • We have closed our Tsawout Offices, with the exception of essential services to community.
  • We have provided 50.00 gift cards to each household, to help in purchasing cleaning supplies or for any other immediate or essential needs.
  • We are working at distributing food fish out to each home within the village.
  • We have also ordered cleaning supplies and hoping to distribute once delivered to Tsawout Administration.
  • We are closing our reserve to all outside visitors (other than essential/emergency services).
  • We are exploring any and all opportunities to provide food (hunting and fishing).
  • We are exploring other opportunities for obtaining and distributing food supplies.
  • We are exploring all opportunities for obtaining emergency funding and relief from Federal Government.
  • We are continuing to meet as a council virtually, to ensure we are doing everything we can.

National Health and Provincial Health authorities have requested, and I too echo the request to exercise social distancing; please stay home and only venture out when it is necessary.

These extreme measures and cautions are for each of our own safety.

I also want to thank those who are assisting, going house to house with deliveries, and to our Administration (Eva Wilson and Rob Mortin), who are continuing to work in office to ensure our essential services to community are carried out.

Stay home, wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, disinfect your homes.

We are a surviving people; and will get through this together.

Chief Nick Claxton

MARCH 23, 2020 – Simi Ono (Community Health Nurse)

Please see these additional resources regarding Coronvirus and COVID-19 as we continue to help community members with up to date information and help you stay safe & healthy.

MARCH 20, 2020 – Simi Ono (Community Health Nurse)

Think globally, act individually do your part in keeping community members safe and healthy

March 18, 2020 – Message from Lois Williams, Health Manager, Tsawout Health Department

The Tsawout First Nation Health Department and Administration staff are taking all precautions against COVID-19 and limiting risks of contacting the virus with respect to the vulnerable members of the community in mind. We are making sure to keep taking care of our elders and other members that need assistance with health care.

  • Please stop and remember to let the staff know if you have a cough, runny nose, and or fever.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitizer. Do not touch your face, nose and or mouth since the virus will enter your body through those areas.
  • Avoid public places as much as possible and stay home. We are closed to the general public as of March 17, 2020 until March 30, 2020.

The measures we need to take may change day by day, so the essential health staff will be available by phone. Please call the Health Receptionist Cathy Webster and she can transfer you to the Medical Office Assistant Andresa Liwagon at 250 652-1149 for a telephone consultation.

The Community Health Nurse Simi Ono, Licensed Practitioner, Nurse Katherine Sebastiano, Nurse Practitioner Kelly Sharp, and Homecare staff Iris Webster/Lisa Underwood will be on-site at the Tsawout Health Office as well. The other Health staff will be working from home until further notice.

Phil Mach is a clinical counsellor with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). Phil will be available by phone due to the COVID-19 for counselling sessions during March 17, 24 and 31, 2020. Please call Phil at 778 584-1180 and or email him at phil.mach@fnha.ca.

Mathew Davydiuk has been facilitating the Men’s Group with Tabita Marks at Tsawout and he is available by phone at 250 634-3478 and email (outreachmtcmati@gmail.com).

Other contact information:

Kelly Sharp NP(F)
VIHA/Aboriginal Health
Serving the communities of TSAWOUT and Tseycum First Nations
Cell: 250-896-7852
Email: Kelly.sharp@viha.ca
7728 Tetayut Road
Saanichton, BC V8M 2E4

MOA: Andresa Liwagon, 250-652-1149, Ext 210
Confidential Fax: 778-351-0311
Lois Williams (Health Manager, Tsawout Health Department)

Additional Information from the First Nations Health Authority