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Immunization Clinic Opens in Winnipeg To First Nation Health Care Workers, Traditional Healers And Knowledge Keepers

todayFebruary 9, 2021 36

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Representatives from the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team, in partnership with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Southern Chiefs’ Organization, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc., First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba and the Manitoba government, are celebrating the opening of a vaccination site to immunize members of priority populations identified by First Nation medical leadership.

The Winnipeg site will focus on immunizing First Nation health-care workers, Knowledge Keepers and Traditional Healers. In total, 889 appointments will be available in the coming days.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a year,” said Michael David Blacksmith, a traditional ceremony and sundance leader from Pimicikamak Cree Nation. “The vaccine will help us get back to some sort of normal. It’s so important for Canadian society that we beat the virus and we need to beat it together. I am also here to take the vaccine to help alleviate people’s fears of it. Some of our people, Indigenous peoples, they have fear of the vaccine. I want to say to everyone that the vaccines are not going to harm you.”

Yesterday, an opening ceremony, smudge and prayer marked the opening of the immunization clinic.

Due to the time-limited nature of the pop-up vaccination clinic located in Winnipeg, eligible health-care workers are asked to call and book their appointments as soon as possible. Eligible health-care workers have received booking information from their employers.

In total, 11,800 doses of vaccine have been allocated to First Nation communities by the Manitoba government. In addition to the Winnipeg location, the vaccine was shipped to 63 First Nation communities last month and used to immunize priority populations such as:

  • health-care workers in remote or isolated communities,
  • residents and staff of personal care homes or Elder care facilities,
  • people aged 60 or older in remote and isolated communities, and
  • people aged 70 or older in non-remote

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Written by: fisherriver

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Fisher River Cree Nation is a community in which our history, language, traditions, and culture are paramount to who we are as a people. We will protect and maintain the spirit and intent of the treaties and our inherent rights. Fisher River will be a self-sustaining progressive community with a strong and accountable government. We will provide an environment where all people are healthy, safe, and respected.