April 13, 2021 (ENOCH, AB) – Any First Nations, Metis, and Inuit (FNMI) people residing in Edmonton and area who meet medical criteria can receive their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Enoch Cree Nation at the River Cree Resort and Casino from Monday through Thursday this week. Approximately 1,100 FNMI individuals are expected to receive immunizations.
“Enoch welcomes this opportunity to lead and host the first ever urban First Nations vaccination clinic in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Indigenous Services Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, Treaty Eight First Nations of Alberta, Yellowhead Tribal College, and Enoch’s Miyo Machihowin (Health) Department,” says Chief Billy Morin.
The clinic operated by Enoch’s Miyo Machihowin (Health) Department creates an opportunity and space for FNMI populations to receive the vaccine to address the fact that Indigenous people are more at risk for severe health outcomes from COVID-19 because of their underlying health conditions.
“First Nations health leaders are honoured to bring forward this process where we are asserting sovereignty over Indigenous healthcare. Before vaccines are administered each day, we hold a pandemic-safe ceremony and prayer which follows cultural protocols. It is important to create a safe and ethical space for our people who administer the vaccine and those who will receive it,” says Colleen McDonald, External Executive Director of the Enoch Miyo Machihowin (Health) Department.
FNMI members are asked to please continue to physically distance, avoid gatherings, and wear a mask at the clinic and in their own communities.
“We’re all in this together. We need to be gentle, kind, and patient with one another. It’s important that we work together in our relationships with patience, love, kindness, and to follow the seven sacred teachings,” says Enoch Councillor Amanda Morin.
Eligible recipients include FNMI individuals born in 1971 or earlier (turning 50+) residing in an urban setting, and First Nations people born between 1957 to 2005 (aged 16 to 64) with eligible high-risk underlying health conditions.
Eligible recipients are asked to book their vaccinations by calling 780-444-9366 to provide their name, phone number, confirmation of FNMI status, and address. Medical transportation from the Edmonton region to the clinic can also be booked at that number. Participants are asked to bring their Alberta Health Care card or their Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) number to the clinic.
On the first day of the clinic on Monday, 190 individuals had booked appointments to receive the vaccine, and dozens more received the vaccine on a walk-in basis. Over 270 vaccinations were scheduled for Tuesday.
What: Edmonton Urban Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, open to all First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples
When: April 12-15, 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: River Cree Resort and Casino, 300 East Lapotac Blvd, Enoch, Alberta T7X 3Y3
Who: Enoch Miyo Machihowin (Health) Department, AHS, FNIHB
Public Contact: 780-444-9366