Siksika Nation Rural Vaccine Clinic Grand Opening
Siksika Nation launched its Rural COVID-19 Immunization Clinic today with an opening ceremony at the Deerfoot Sportsplex, where the immunization clinic for rural Albertans from Siksika’s neighbouring municipalities of Wheatland County, Vulcan County, and Newell County will be held for the coming weeks.
The Siksika Rural Vaccine Clinic is intended to strengthen Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out strategy by addressing gaps in service access for Albertans, in particular rural residents. Immunization services will align with the provincial vaccine rollout and serve individuals living in the municipalities surrounding Siksika Nation.
Siksika Health Services is well positioned to lead the immunization response for rural residents, as Siksika has been administering COVID-19 vaccine through its immunization clinics since Jan. 1, 2021.
Siksika people acknowledge the importance of us each doing our part to protect one another. In the spirit of protecting one another, including our non-Indigenous brothers and sisters around us, Siksika Nation is pleased to offer COVID-19 immunization to rural Albertans as an accessible, closer-to-home vaccine location.
Quotes About Siksika’s Rural COVID Vaccine Clinic
“It is my great honour, on behalf of Siksika Nation, to offer an invitation to our surrounding communities to receive COVID-19 immunization in Siksika. Now is the time for us to come together in the spirit of caring and protecting one another, to get through this pandemic together. Our communities do not exist in isolation; we are interconnected. Extending care and health services to our non-Indigenous neighbours is nothing new to Siksika; this vaccine clinic is just one of many examples.”
- Nioksskaistamik Ouray Crowfoot, Chief of Siksika Nation
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been exceedingly proud and humbled by the immense amount of work taken on by Siksika Nation to prevent, prepare and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within their community. This vaccination clinic demonstrates the same leadership, partnership and vision that Siksika has shown through their extensive and effective range of health services offered throughout the pandemic. Indigenous Services Canada is proud to support Siksika Nation in their efforts to provide an opportunity for their neighbours to receive a vaccine.”
- The Honourable Marc Miller P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services
“I want to commend the Siksika Nation, including Chief Ouray Crowfoot and the Council, for their continued leadership in our fight against COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, they have supported the public health guidance and been a source of consistent, credible information to their members. By opening their rural vaccine clinic up to non-Indigenous residents from neighbouring municipalities, they provide another option to help get as many Albertans vaccinated as possible. Thank you for reminding us that we are all in this together, and we will only get through this pandemic by working together.”
- Tyler Shandro, Alberta Minister of Health
“I am feeling tremendous gratitude to Siksika Nation for opening this centre to help vaccinate non-Indigenous people in the surrounding counties of Wheatland, Vulcan, and Newell. That spirit of empathy and care for our people makes me want to work that much harder to also care for Siksika’s people.”
- Pat Fule, Mayor – Town of Strathmore
“In the post-COVID world, all scholars and students and spiritual leaders, as they look for reason around what we’ve learned, they will look to Siksika for the spirit of reciprocity and giving that is endemic to the Siksika people have been for 15,000 years, and continue to be today.”
- Denise Peterson, Councillor – Town of Strathmore
“It’s an emotional day as I witness all of the wisdom in the room today, and that has gone into the development of this vaccine clinic. Chief Crowfoot said that together we are stronger; this is so true and I echo this sentiment entirely.”
- Molly Douglass, Reeve – County of Newell
“On behalf of Wheatland County Council, Im truly grateful for the thoughtful leadership of Siksika Nation Chief and Council, and the entire team, who have made the Siksika Health Services Rural Clinic possible. Access to health care, including vaccines, can be challenging for our residents and this clinic will make it easier for area residents who would like to receive the covid vaccine. We are on a path to forging strong relationships among the leaders in our region. While covid slowed our work at times, it can also be a catalyst for collaboration. As we emerge from the pandemic and the economic crisis, we will be stronger if we work together.”
- Amber Link, Reeve – Wheatland County
The Siksika Rural Vaccine Clinic will begin May 25, 2021. The clinic will be located at the Deerfoot Sportsplex; hours of operation are from 10:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday.
This clinic will be providing first doses of Moderna vaccine to adults born in 2003 or earlier (turning 18 or older this year) and Pfizer vaccine to youth born in 2004-2009 (12-17 years) starting May 25, 2021.
At this time, bookings are available to residents from Siksika Nation’s neighbouring municipalities of Strathmore, Gleichen, Wheatland County, Vulcan County and Newell County. The vaccine product and eligibility may change as supply becomes available.
Immunization for rural Albertans is available by appointment only. Appointments can be made online by visiting http://siksikahealth.com/rural-vaccine-clinic/ or by calling 403-734-5706. COVID-19 immunization remains available to Siksika Nation members, and for those who live or work in Siksika, on a walk-in basis at the Siksika Deerfoot Sportsplex. It is not required for these groups to book appointments.
Tyler White, Siksika Health Services CEO, leads the Opening Ceremony to launch Siksika’s Rural COVID Vaccine Clinic
Chief of Siksika Nation, Ouray Crowfoot, at the Opening Ceremony of Siksika’s Rural COVID Vaccine Clinic
Mayor of Strathmore, Pat Fule, delivers a message at the Opening Ceremony for Siksika’s Rural COVID Vaccine Clinic
Molly Douglass, Reeve of Newell County, delivers a message at the Opening Ceremony of Siksika’s Rural COVID Vaccine Clinic
Siksika’s immunization team prepares for the launch of the Rural COVID Vaccine Clinic
- Since January 1, 2021, Siksika Nation has administered 4507 COVID-19 vaccine first and second doses to Siksika Nation members, and those who live and work on reserve.
- Siksika Health Services has partnered with Newell, Wheatland and Vulcan County to offer COVID-19 vaccines to rural surrounding communities.
- Siksika Health Services continues its partnership with Okaki and Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines at the Urban Indigenous Led COVID-19 immunization clinic for Calgary residents.
- Siksika Health Services COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) has completed 19,952 COVID-19 tests since March 24, 2020. This includes CRU drive-thru, home and work site testing for those who live and work in Siksika Nation or surrounding communities.
- Siksika continues to provide a very high level of service for testing, contact tracing and support for those isolating, including mental health, food security, access to health services and isolation options.