A traditional ceremony was held at the Lu’ma Medical Clinic in Vancouver as elders arrived for their COVID-19 vaccination.
“This is a time to celebrate and to feel hope a time to feel hope that we are close to the end of this pandemic,” says Michael Dumont the medical director at Lu’ma Medical Health Clinic.
Marge White was the first to get vaccinated and she was welcomed in with a traditional song.
“I don’t feel anything. I don’t feel sick or anything right now and so I look forward to my second shot in about a month so it’s good I feel great today I’m happy I got the shot,” said White, as she rolled up her sleeve to show where the injection went in.
Lu’ma Native Housing has been operating the Lu’ma Medical Clinic for the last five years.
Norissa Mongrain is the mental health lead at the clinic.
She says they take pride in creating a safe place for Indigenous Peoples to feel safe.
“We are righting the wrongs in healthcare,” says Mongrain. “A lot of the patients I see in counselling have actually been harmed by the health system and residential schools, TB Indian hospitals and there was alot of fear around it and so by doing it this way we are trying to ease some of the fear.”
Reginald Percival says he’s looking forward to hopefully getting back to some normalcy. He is Nisga’a and his traditional territory has had a COVID-19 outbreak recently – he also just lost his sister in law from COVID-19 two weeks ago.
“This, I think, is a positive move for us getting our vaccination and I want to encourage all our Aboriginal people to try and get a vaccination when the opportunity is available.”
“We are so happy today to be able to honour the elders who are coming forward to getting vaccinated to demonstrate to their families how important it is to protect themselves and to protect the people they love around them,” says Andrea Foster, health director Lu’ma Medical Clinic.