There is a new updated vaccine for Omicron variant for the 5 to 11 year old age group
This is a booster dose . Doses are available 5 months after their second dose of vaccine or from a recent covid-19 infection.
Anyone who has already had a third booster dose is not eligible to receive the vaccine unless they are high risk and it has been at least 3 months since the previous booster. High risk definition is much broader for this age group, anyone interested in getting a fourth dose for their child should reach out to Community Health 403-734-5616 to inquire.
The newest COVID vaccines, known as “bivalent vaccines” now offer coverage against the Omicron variant and are more effective than previous vaccines at preventing illness against the newer strains.
This is why it is so important to have “booster” vaccines for full coverage against current strains of the virus. The bivalent COVID-19 vaccines trigger a stronger immune response and provide additional protection against both Omicron and the original SARS-CoV-2 virus strain.
Vaccines are available at Siksika Health Services from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
With the current extreme cold weather in Province of Alberta, we at Siksika Health Services and Siksika Emergency Services would like to take this time to provide some information about just how serious this can be, and some tips to stay safe.
With the low temperatures we are currently experiencing, frostbite and hypothermia are risks we need to watch out for:
Frostbite occurs when the skin and tissues underneath freeze. Signs of frostbite include:
Frostbite can progress to deep frostbite, where an entire hand or foot can freeze, and affects the tissues deeper down. This may appear as white, waxy skin that turns greyish blue, and feels cold and hard to the touch.
The most hazardous effect of cold weather is hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition where the body’s temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius. Hypothermia may progress from mild to severe if not recognized. This can cause an individual or a worker to become disoriented, less alert, and less attentive to the job or task at hand.
The symptoms and effects of hypothermia occur in the following order:
2. Slowing of the heart and breathing
3. Lack of coordination
4. Lack of organ function, such as kidneys
5. Disorientation, irritability, unusual behaviour, shivering stops
6. Stopping of the heart
Hypothermia may be brought on by lack of adequate clothing, wet windy environments, falling into cold water, or any situation in which the body cannot maintain its core temperature. Unfortunately, individuals or workers affected by hypothermia may be unaware of their condition and may even resist help. If an individual or a worker is suspected to be suffering from hypothermia, aid should be administered even if they refuse.
Here are some tips to stay safe while outside during extreme cold temperatures:
Traveling During Extreme Conditions:
Working Outside During Extreme Conditions:
Siksika Health Services held its annual community Christmas dinner this year in a drive-thru format on Dec. 7.
Due to the rising cases and risk of influenza and COVID-19, it was important that Siksika Health Services lead by example and ensure that all community events were hosted in a way that would keep community members and staff safe.
We were able to feed over 1000 people and thanks to a donation from the Calgary Hitmen, we gave out over 1500 teddy bears that were donated from their annual teddy bear toss game.
Thank you to TIU Canada for the generous donation in support of this year’s Siksika Health Community Christmas Feast!
The TIU Canada team stopped by the Health Centre to hand-deliver their donation
We also had a special contest for Siksika Nation members to win a Christmas gift from SHS. Pictured here are some of the winners including Leela Bastien, Jennifer Spring Chief and Phillip Strangling Wolf.
Indigenous Disability Awareness Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous peoples with disabilities and take action to ensure equity of rights, access, and opportunities.
In the month of November, Siksika Health Services committed to educating and raising awareness about inclusivity around disabilities. Indigenous peoples with disabilities face barriers and opportunities that magnify the social and economic exclusion they experience. Everyone deserves to take part in their community.
Siksika Sports for All Recreation Program
Community Mental Health and Wellness and SN7 will be collaborating to implement an adaptive recreation program that will modify sports activities to be inclusive of all abilities. Adaptive sports provide modifications to a particular sport so that athletes will be given the opportunity to participate with appropriate accessible accommodations.
The key principle of adaptive sports and recreation is inclusivity. The Siksika Sports for All Recreation Program will offer a variety of adaptive sports beginning with a 6-week adaptive lacrosse program. The Autism and Asperger Friendship Society (AFFS) is a program that offers specialized sports, supports, and recreational respite to many families with all abilities.
They will assist in the facilitation of the instruction, equipment purchase and lacrosse instructors. The AFFS coordinators are specialists in the field of disability and sports and are excited to mentor SN7 in facilitating adaptive sports.
This mentorship allows SSARP to be sustainable in future inclusive sport programming. Other adaptive sports that will be offered to the community will be goal ball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair lacrosse, adaptive running, sledge hockey and sitting volleyball. The SSARP committee are dedicated to provide an inclusive sports program so that all Siksika members with all abilities will be given the opportunity to participate in any sport.
Organizational Commitment to Accessibility
Participation in society requires barrier-free access to online content. Siksika Health Services has partnered with UserWay to meet international standards for website accessibility. This allows all visitors to our Siksika Health website to access information equitably.
UserWay has been implemented on the website, and further instruction on how to use it will be shared with Siksika Nation members in December.
Siksika Disabilities Services Christmas Dinner
Every year, Siksika Disabilities Services hosts a Christmas dinner for their clients that aligns with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The department celebrated a bit earlier this year, however, the celebration was special as it’s the first time staff, clients and family members have been able to gather at an in-person event before the pandemic.
Siksika Health Services recognizes all the hard work Disabilities Services puts in for the community and thanks everyone who made the dinner special. International Day of Persons with Disabilities is December 3rd.
Siksika Health recognized National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) by hosting a banquet for the community on November 24, 2022.
The objectives for the NAAW banquet was to share our resources that were developed by Siksika Health Services. These resources can be used to help inform others, initiate important conversations or assist individuals who use substances or have a substance use disorder on their Wellness journey. The event also showcased the wellness journey of past and present clients of the Matrix program; to provide the continuous support from the Addictions program.
The banquet incorporated the work that was provided by past Addictions (NNADAP) workers. A video was drafted that provided insight to the past work that was provided by the program; Butch Wolf Leg, Janice Doore and Pauline Yellow Fly, provide their experience and stories related to the past work with the Addictions Program.
We honored the work that was provide by the most recent NNADAP workers: Thurman Little Light, Eileen Black and Virginia Daniels. Their work and dedication saved lives, they sacrificed hours to support clients with support groups, transportation to inpatient treatment, transportation to detox and taking calls all hours of the day and weekends.
The event showcased the wellness journey of 2 clients; both participants took part in the Matrix program. They are both spoke on how the Matrix program and Addiction services supported their recovery journey.
The event honored 19 Matrix clients with a blanket ceremony to signify their wellness journey. The event brought in 100 community members.
About NAAW Week
The National Addictions Awareness Week highlights ways to address harms related to alcohol and other drugs. It provides an opportunity for people in Canada to learn more about prevention, talk about treatment and recovery, and share solutions.
The theme for the NAAW banquet was “Acknowledging our warriors from the past, present and future”. The significance of the theme was to honor the hard work that was provided from past Addictions workers, informing the community of the work that is being presently provided today and how the program will be moving forward for future services.
Basically, meeting the needs from a client perspective; incorporating the Stages of Change model for support services. The new framework for Addictions supports will support clients from stabilization-using to detoxing, to Treatment Readiness-Stages of Changes model of support, to Recovery supports-aftercare and life skills building.
COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing across Alberta, including on Siksika Nation, according to the latest wastewater sampling data, collected by the University of Calgary (see the graph for local Siksika Nation wastewater sampling information). Historically this type of increase has preceded a rise in serious illnesses and hospitalizations.
Siksika Health medical experts and the supporting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chris Sarin are also expecting a severe flu season this year. COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) cases have continued rising steadily across Alberta since late September.
There is also growing evidence that children with respiratory viruses such as influenza and RSV are being seen in hospital emergency rooms in very high numbers across Canada and Alberta. And while flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, they are caused by two different viruses and require two different vaccines to protect and prevent serious outcomes.
Siksika Health Services strongly encourages all Siksika Nation members to receive all vaccine doses they are eligible for as soon as possible. Unfortunately, at this time we are also seeing low uptake of both COVID-19 booster shots and flu vaccines amongst our Nation members. The newest COVID vaccines, known as “bivalent vaccines” now offers coverage against the Omicron variant and are more effective than previous vaccines at preventing illness against the newer strains. This is why it is so important to have “booster” vaccines for full coverage against current strains of the virus. Siksika: getting immunized is proven to be the most effective way to protect yourself and others from severe outcomes related to these illnesses. Remember: you can get both the COVID and influenza vaccine at the same time. Protect yourself, your family and your community: get immunized!
Where to get vaccinated
COVID-19 immunization and flu shots are available for Siksika Nation members and community members from the surrounding areas on a walk-in basis:
Vaccines currently available:
*it’s important to wait 5 months after a COVID-19 infection before getting your next dose
Winter weather conditions in Siksika can quickly become dangerous with little or no warning. Here are some tips to prepare for the winter season and ensure you and your family are safe during the coldest of days.
Winter driving calls for extra care, even in normal winter conditions. Snow and ice can reduce tire traction on roads, and heavy or blowing snow can make visibility poor. Check out these safety tips for winter driving.
Whether you are shoveling or sliding, always dress warmly in cold temperatures and avoid over-exerting yourself. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your blood vessels when they are constricted by the cold. Over-exerting with the added stress could trigger a heart attack or stroke. Be heart smart in the winter.
When a blizzard begins, stay indoors and wait until it ends. If you must go outside, dress properly to stay warm. When it comes time to shovel yourself out after the storm, take your time to avoid exerting yourself. Check out these tips on how to prepare before a severe storm.
Having a storm readiness plan in place saves valuable time when severe weather strikes. It is also important to maintain an emergency pack with a battery-powered flashlight, a radio, tools for emergency repair, ready-to-eat food, a first aid kit, blankets, and extra clothing. Keep your car gas tank full in case gas stations close down after a storm, and have some cash on hand in case bank machines and electronic payment methods are down. When a warning is issued, stay calm and follow your plan. Take advantage of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Weatheradio service to be aware of and prepared for potential impending winter storms. Here is a link to create your emergency plan.
Dress warmly when you go outside during cold weather. Wear layers of clothing with a wind-resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm, before you start sweating, or add a layer if you get cold. Wear warm socks, mittens, a hat and scarf. In extremely cold conditions, cover as much exposed skin as possible. If you get wet, change into dry clothing. You lose heat faster when you are wet.
Outdoor sports, such as sledding, snowmobiling and skating can be fun in the wintertime, but be sure to dress appropriately. Wear a facemask or goggles to protect your face from frostbite and windburn.
Be alert for signs of frostbite. Check for numbness or white areas on your face and extremities (ears, nose, cheeks, hands and feet). Get medical assistance immediately if you notice signs of confusion, slurred speech, stiff muscles or uncontrollable shivering. These are signs of hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition. Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can generate it.
Check the Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecast before you go outside. Watch for wind chill or extremely cold temperatures. Wind chill can create dangerously cold conditions, but extremely cold temperatures can still be hazardous with little or no wind.
The Siksika SN7 and Hope Team will be hosting a men’s and women’s basketball league for Siksika Nation members interested in playing evening basketball for both community members 15 years and older.
League starts on October 18, 2022 and will be single player sign up. The registration fee is $25.00 per player and community members have until November 1, 2022 to register and pay.
League games will take place at the Siksika Deerfoot Sportsplex on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. You can register below: