Flu Fears Keep Four Bands Away From Games

Friday, August 07, 2009 at 15:55



Four First Nations, all from the same tribal council, will not have participants at this year’s First Nations Summer Games because of fears of swine flu.


Games coordinator Kelly Villeneuve says he’s a bit surprised they’re opting not to come, because, he says, the FSIN team reps, health inspectors, and health

departments all seemed happy with the organizers’ plan to deal with the concern over H1N1.


Villeneuve says people are getting misinformation.


“It’s very frustrating and you can’t control that (rumor-spreading). I mean, had they right information and the proper information, I believe they would more than likely come, but I think some of it is just out of fear, and it’s sad because there are kids that will not be coming to these games, and it’s a great experience,” Villeneuve says.


Villeneuve says any bands that have phoned and asked about the precautions the games committee is taking are still coming.


He thinks Onion Lake Cree Nation, which is hosting the games, will be one of the safest places to be in terms of the virus, because they are taking so many precautions.


Instead of 3,500 participants, Villeneuve says there will now be around 3,200.


The games begin this Sunday.