WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is investing nearly $2.8 million to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among Indigenous populations.
The province will use the funds to expand the role of Indigenous clinics and other outreach efforts targeting First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.
The investment is in partnership with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak.
Immunization clinics at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre will receive $2.1 million to extend clinics in Winnipeg until December.
Nearly $250,000 will fund a mobile immunization clinic over the next several months, which will provide vaccines to people in Winnipeg’s downtown and Point Douglas neighbourhoods including door-to-door outreach.
Immunization clinics at Portage la Prairie Renewal Corporation in Portage la Prairie, Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre in Thompson and Brandon Friendship Centre in Brandon will share in $347,000 to extend their services until December.
The province will spend an additional $65,000 to support a new staff position at Ongomiizwin Health Services who will act as a liaison between the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, Indigenous governance organizations and vaccine service providers to help ensure co-ordinated and strategic outreach, while $33,000 will support the immunization clinics held earlier this year by the Manitoba Inuit Association.
As part of this expanded investment, the clinics held by Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre will now be fully open to all members of their communities in addition to Indigenous people.