Bertie Wapachee, CBHSSJB Chairperson addresses the population of the Eeyou Istchee and members of the Cree Health Board team in regards to the vaccination campaign.
ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐎᓐ | IIYIYIUYIMUWIN
CBHSSJB Chairperson Bertie Wapachee
Hello everybody, my name is Bertie Wapachee. I'm the Chairperson of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay.First of all, I wanted to greet everybody, Happy New Year to all of you.
This message I wish to convey today, I want to focus a bit on the COVID battle, the COVID fight and just wanted to say that as the numbers go up, cumulatively, our numbers are also going down, that are active. So, on behalf of our organization, and our team of people that are frontline, all our medical staff, I wish to take this time to thank you for, for all of your effort and collaboration, and everything that's laid out, I guess, in the protocols, and the different phases that have been implemented.
So I wanted to take this time, first of all, to thank every one of you for participating in this fight.
You know, for being patient, in the isolation, and everything that we've done together, I just wanted to say thank you.
On the part of that which is vaccination. We know we've done very well in the first week. So far we've used over 8000 of the vaccines, so that means over 8000 of our people have been vaccinated. So that alone is great news, and we appreciate all the collaboration - all the participation from everyone, including our elders, our most vulnerable, our medical people, our health professionals, frontline. Everyone that participated in the campaign. We just wanted to take this time to say thank you to all of you. To all our teams on the ground, for your great effort - preparation, coordination.
Just wanted to take this time on behalf of the Cree Health Board to say thanks to all of you, thank you. And we certainly wouldn't have been able to do everything we've done so far to this point. To our tracing team, we know the challenge has been great for you, the stress has been high.
At this time, we also want to say thank you. Moving forward and into the future, we know that the vaccine campaign is slowing down. And we still have quite a bit of vaccines left to use up as they say in the first trimester. And we'd like to do our best to, to clean those up and use all of them any way we can. Including bringing the younger generation 18 and up. We know that they love to gather, they love doing things together. And we'd like to encourage all of them to take the time to take the vaccine. We also know that there's hesitancy, anxiety and fear by some people with this vaccine we understand it. And we certainly don't want to infringe on anybody's rights, or force anyone to take it when they don't want to. That is their choice.
For those of us that took it, we made our choice in favor of protecting ourselves from the virus, to add an extra layer of protection of course and to be safe out there. And also to protect the people around us, especially the ones we love - our most vulnerable and our elderly.
Pictured - Bertie Wapachee's father gets vaccinated in Nemaska
So we believe in the long run this is the the right thing to do to take the vaccine, but if you're not capable of accepting it that's okay too. We just asked you to do everything that everyone else is doing following the protocols, the precautionary measures, everything that we still need to do to continue battling this virus. So whatever way we can collaborate, work together. Let's continue to do that and beat this thing. We believe in you and we believe we can defeat the virus at some point.
So we can do the things we always enjoyed doing - our gatherings, our get togethers, our hockey tournaments, whatever they may be. We want to see those again, and have the freedom to enjoy those activities once again with our families and friends. So with that, we just wanted to say thank you to everybody that participated in the vaccination campaign. And we appreciate your collaboration and your trust in us and our doctors to move forward. And aside from that I just wanted to say thank you to everybody that took part in everything that we've done so far.
Let's continue to fight and let's win it and get our freedoms back. Thank you.
As we enter into this time where we are seeing our communities affected by positive cases of COVID-19, we remind everyone of the importance of faith and prayer for Miyupimaatisiiun (health and wellbeing). We encourage each person to seek guidance from Elders and Traditional Healers as well as healthcare providers. Our traditions guide us to protect and care for one another.