Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is issuing this statement on behalf of the Norway House Cree Nation (NHCN) to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccines.
The Moderna vaccine started arriving in First Nation communities in Northern Manitoba on January 7, 2021.
Mr. and Mrs. Leslie and Veronica Apetagon were the first Norway House residents to receive their vaccines.
Chief Larson Anderson shared the following on behalf of his entire Council:
“The first 240 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Norway House Cree Nation on January 7. This batch is designated for Pinaow Wachi Personal Care Home Elders and staff; as well as Elders who are 70 years and older.
NHCN accepted the Moderna vaccine as it is more stable, mobile, and suitable for transporting in northern remote communities.
Early in the pandemic, NHCN imposed strict lockdown and isolation measures, knowing there were challenging conditions that could cause rapid spread with devastating outcomes. Shortage of housing, limited health care services, and underlying health issues are all part of the fight. We fought really hard to keep the virus out while trying to maintain a sense of balance mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
As a new Chief of a First Nation, this experience is like being part of a crew on a boat in the vast ocean. Sadly, the boat has many leaks and damages and is in constant need of repairs. The pandemic is like a massive storm that is battering the boat and making an already dangerous situation more critical. NHCN is extremely fortunate to have a very resilient and determined crew to keep our nation afloat. As a result, we kept the COVID-19 virus out of our community for eight months. To date, we have had 48 positives in Norway House and in Winnipeg. Currently, we have five active cases in Winnipeg and no active ones in Norway House.
Now that we have the vaccine coming into our community, we see a light at the end of the tunnel. We will continue to practice all the fundamentals that have worked for us. Wear your mask! Stay six feet apart! Wash your hands! Stay home when you are sick!
Thank you for the prayers and everyone continue to stay safe! Ekosani.”