The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations affirm that Health Canada did not consult with the Nations to address the COVID-19 vaccine implementation plan
January 21, 2021
The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 Chiefs are very alarmed and dissatisfied with the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan proposed for our respective Nations without Free, Prior and Informed Consent. There has been a failure to align resources consistent with the Famine and Pestilence Clause, the Medicine Chest, and the Treaty Right to Health.
Until the past week, our Nations were not informed that Health Canada had engaged Alberta Health Services to determine our vaccine requirements. In the past few months, Canada announced publicly on several occasions that Treaty First Nations were a priority and that vaccines would be provided. First Nations are at a greater risk of exposure due to a number of factors including, overcrowded homes with multi-generational families, lack of housing, remoteness, poverty, and distances to health care facilities and providers.
As we assert the needs of our people, the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations would like to remind the Crown in right of Canada of their continuing obligation to deal directly with the First Nations signatories to Treaty and that the Government of Canada is not entitled to make unilateral decisions with respect to Treaty issues and request an immediate meeting with Minister Patty Hajdu to discuss concerns and establish a plan consistent with our Treaty Right to Health.
The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 is dedicated to ensuring that the terms, spirit and intent for Treaty No. 6 is honoured and respected. The right of the Treaty No. 6 First Nations to self-determination must be honoured and respected.
For more information or media inquiries, contact:
Gina Potts – Chief of Staff
Office of the Grand Chief – Okimaw Vernon Watchmaker [email protected]