SIX NATIONS RESERVE, Ont. - A First Nation in southwestern Ontario says one of its members has died of COVID-19.

Six Nations of the Grand River's elected chief, Mark Hill, says the community is grieving the death.

The First Nation says there are eight coronavirus cases on the reserve.

It had its first confirmed case two weeks ago.

Six Nations declared an emergency on March 13 and has set up checkpoints to restrict access to the territory.

Hill says the community must increase its efforts to slow the spread of the disease and to stay home.

"Given the increased risk of mortality within First Nations communities, we've been trying to prepare for this, but you never really can, can you?" Hill said in a statement. "When this is all over, we will hold each other close. But right now, we need to show unimaginable strength and do everything in our power to ensure we do not lose anymore lives"

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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