Coronavirus In Minnesota: Red Lake Reservation Issues Medical Martial Law
April 6, 2020
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Starting April 3, the Red Lake Reservation will be under medical martial law for 15 days.
The medical martial law – which goes into effect Friday – includes a mandatory quarantine, restrictions on gatherings, and limited travel to and from the reservation.
Under the laws of the Red Lake Band of the Chippewa Indians, the chairman of the Tribal Council is allowed to declare medical martial law when the health and safety of Red Lake Band members is endangered.
As they saw the virus moving north, the Tribal Council took precaution, and on March 13, declared a public health emergency. Later, on March 23, the council enacted three separate resolutions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The first of these resolutions put a curfew into effect between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with exceptions made for those who work essential jobs. The second required a mandatory quarantine for all Red Lake residents, confining them to their homes and yards. The third emphasized the Tribal Council's support if the Chairman declared a medical martial law
When a Red Lake member tested positive for COVID-19, Chairman Darrell Seki, Sr. decided to enact the law.
Additional restrictions include the cancellation of non-essential meetings. Funerals too will be impacted, with visitors limited to 10 adults at a time.
Residents will be limited in movement; travel to and from the reservation is only permitted to shop for necessities, and to take care or elders and vulnerable people.
Since the Tribal Council declared the public health emergency, they have received regular guidance through the Indian Health Service, the CDC, and Minnesota Gov. Walz.