NAN Welcomes First Vaccination Team to Weenusk First Nation Tomorrow

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the NAN Executive Council, congratulates Weenusk First Nation as they prepare to welcome the first ORNGE led vaccination distribution team tomorrow.

“We are excited to have the first vaccination team in the remote community of Weenusk First Nation. I acknowledge the dedication to this effort by ORNGE, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) and Ontario, and the support of the Canadian Rangers,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “The soft launch of the vaccine rollout with NAN Elders was successful and I look forward to that momentum continuing throughout the rest of the vaccination program. This vaccine saves lives. I encourage all community members to review available information about the vaccine to make an informed decision on giving their consent to receive it.”

The Canadian Rangers have been activated in NAN First Nations where leadership have requested assistance with the vaccine rollout in their community.

“On behalf of the members of Weenusk, I welcome the vaccine distribution team to the community. I want to show community members that the vaccine is safe and it is the key to ending this pandemic,” said Chief Abraham Hunter. “To encourage others to give their consent to receiving the vaccine, I will be one of the first in Weenusk to receive it. I thank our local Pandemic Team for their outstanding work on the ground, NAN leadership for their continuous support, and ORNGE, WAHA, and the Canadian Rangers for working with us to ensure the vaccination rollout is a success for my community.”

NAN has been supporting its member Nations and advising ORNGE and the Government of Ontario on the distribution of the Moderna vaccine to NAN First Nations. Phase 1 of the rollout endeavours to administer vaccines in 31 remote/fly-in First Nations across NAN territory by April 30, 2021.

Before entering communities, individuals on the vaccination teams have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and cultural training. Vaccination teams will return to the communities to administer the second dose of the vaccine.

In keeping with Ontario’s objective to vaccinate the most vulnerable people as quickly as possible, the Moderna vaccine was administered in early January to residents and front-line workers in long-term care facilities in Sioux Lookout and on the James Bay Coast.

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Michael Heintzman,
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