Prince Albert Grand Council, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs are working together to help urban band members and others get immunized against COVID-19.
The organizations are opening vaccination clinics in Saskatoon, North Battleford and Prince Albert.
People can register online through the organizations’ websites and it’s open to non-band members while following the age requirements of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
The clinics will have onsite translators, Elders and smudging available.
“We have translators for Dene and Cree, as well as a number of other cultural groups,” said PAGC Health Director Shirley Woods.
“We just wanted to have services available in the languages people feel comfortable.”
The clinics are funded by the provincial and federal governments.
PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte says this partnership is important to helping urban members get vaccinated.
“It’s a three-way partnership; we really needed to come together to convince the government that we need funding.”
There’s still a lot of uncertainty for many people about getting the vaccine. So organizers felt it was important for Elders to feel comfortable in an Indigenous environment.
“We also do have smudging for those who want it,” adds Woods.
“Again, we just want people to feel comfortable getting their immunization in a way that unique for them or works for them.”
In Prince Albert, people can book online through PAGC or call them directly.
“You can book online with the Saskatchewan Health Authority or you can call their number,” says Woods.
The Prince Albert vaccination clinic opened at the beginning of April. The Saskatoon one is opening this week at the Sasktel Centre and expects to be busy.
“What we are expecting for tomorrow is excitement from people to actually get the vaccination so we can start living a normal life again,” says STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand.
The North Battleford clinic is slated to open April 12 at the Dekker Centre.