Indigenous Nation to Nation Cooperation (Gespeg-Kanesatake Vaccination Campaign)

Inter-nation Gespeg Kanesatake Vaccination

This past weekend, my husband and I were able to be vaccinated in the Kanesatake community through an inter-nation vaccination campaign. My nation is Gespeg, a small nation in GaspĂ©, Quebec that has no land base and half of our members reside in Montreal. Urban Natives are often left without the knowledge of resources available to us. My band stepped up and reached out to our members early on and those who wished to be vaccinated were placed on a list and we were guided through the process of having our vaccination booked. This Nation to Nation cooperation with Kanesatake proves that given the proper resources and the proper funding Nations can work together and support each other. Historically, First Nations have suffered greatly during pandemics and I’m happy to see the Federal and Provincial governments provided the proper funding, resources and understanding during Covid-19. We need to protect our elders, and protect ourselves.

How do I feel after being vaccination? I feel a great sense of relief. While I’ve been working from home for the past year, I do have a young son in elementary school and my husband works outside the home. I know that being vaccinated greatly reduced the need for hospitalization with Covid-19, and if my husband or I do get infected with Covid-19 we will probably have mild symptoms and not need to be hospitalized. That has been my biggest fear, especially since this third wave has had younger people being hospitalized. As an asthma patient, I fear being hospitalized and away from my family for any length of time. 

I want to thank my band- Gespeg, our Montreal counsellor Nadia Robertson and the Kanesatake Nation for giving us hope and prioritizing our people. The solidarity between nations gives a strong message that we can achieve greatness when we work together. 

If you are living in Montreal, Native Montreal also has a vaccination campaign to assist Indigenous people living in Montreal. There is a link to register, I encourage those who qualify to register. Vaccination protects you, and protects others. If you have any hesitancy, please do you own research from qualified resources. Personally, I had no side effects, just a sore arm for a few days. As someone who’s afraid of needles, the injection was nothing. I honestly, didn’t feel it. 

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