Noojmowin Teg Health Centre (NTHC) mourns with the Secwepemc Nation with the announcement of having located the unmarked graves of 215 children of the residential school on their territory. It is heartbreaking to receive this information and we collectively grieve for all children that did not return home from residential schools. This tragic discovery reaffirms the voices and grievances of our Elders and survivors about the realities of residential schools.
The NTHC Board of Directors call upon on all levels of governments to join us in implementation of the 94 recommendations of Truth and Reconciliation (TRC). This report represents the summary findings of interviews with survivors of residential schools and asks for all persons to be part of the path forward towards reconciliation. The healing journey starts by acknowledging the real history of all residential schools and impacts it has had upon past and present generations of Indigenous peoples.
While we still wait for implementation of Truth and Reconciliation report, our allies can help by:
- Learning about the Residential Schools in Canada;
- Read the TRC report;
- Advocate for movement to your local elected officials;
- Stand up to stereotypes, systemic racism and discrimination;
- Be a voice of change with your family and friends;
- Support Indigenous-led organizations
The Indigenous peoples today are survivors of attempted genocide; we are still healing from the trauma of this deliberate measures to eradicate us. Indigenous peoples are survivors, we are resilient and our strength comes from our families, communities and culture. While the discovery of 215 children is a painful reality for many Indigenous peoples, we are strong nations across Turtle Island and the Creator will continue to guide our healing journeys.
Grieve with us, be angry with us, but please join us in being allies in our healing journeys forward,
Chief Linda Debassige,
NTHC Board Chair
March 12, 2021
It has been a busy week for the staff of Mnaamodzawin Health Services and Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, as the two sister organizations hosted several COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the district of Mnidoo Mnising. Working with each of the below community health centers, 503 Pfizer-BioTech vaccines were administered to Indigenous (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) populations as well as to frontline healthcare workers in our service area.
Clinics took place March 8th – 11th in Whitefish River First Nation, Aundeck Omni Kaning, Sheguiandah First Nation and Sheshegwaning First Nation. “It was a team approach with excellent partnership with Mnaamodzawain Health Services” said Noojmowin Teg Primary Care Manager, Kim Warren. “Tremendous efforts were made by the nurses, practitioners, staff volunteers, and all community partners who were on-site each day to ensure a smooth process”.
Coordination with local Paramedics is required on-site in case of emergencies as well as communication with Public Health Sudbury & Districts is required to successfully be able to receive and administer the vaccines. “Public Health transports the vaccines every morning from Sudbury to each of our clinics here on the island,” says Warren.
In addition, Anishinabek cultural support services were offered by Noojmowin Teg Traditional Healer Support Thecla Neganegijig. “At each location, members of Mnaamodzawin Health Services staff smudged the interior of the buildings, which was so important and helped to set us up for a good day with positive energy”, said the Primary Care Manager.
For some recipients entering the clinics, emotions were high as many felt gratitude to be provided the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
Healthcare providers were in high spirits throughout the week, “There was laughter and even some dancing that took place amongst the healthcare providers, everyone was excited about what we were doing”, Warren commented.
On Thursday, during the clinic in Sheshegwaning the group was met with a wind storm and power outage that required quick action to ensure the vaccines did not go to waste. “That was a challenge, but the nurses worked quickly and effectively to ensure the vaccines were safely mixed and into the arms of recipients. It was a monumental day, as we acknowledged the pandemic in Canada was announced 1 year ago”, said Kim Warren.
The next steps include additional clinics for these two organizations over the coming weeks including recipients receiving the 2nd dose of the Pfizer BioTech vaccine, the dates which has yet to be confirmed. "We are extremely grateful to have been approached by Mnaamodzawin Health Services and asked to be a partner with them in the vaccine roll-out, chi-miigwetch to the organization for including us in this opportunity", concludes Warren.