Current Problems

Health (18-24)

Excluding Métis from COVID-19 Task Force

January 15, 2021

Winnipeg Free Press – Government has left the Métis out of its COVID-19 vaccine task force and plans no vaccination clinics targeted to them. That’s despite Premier Brian Pallister having said he’s committed to including Métis people in the vaccine rollout, guided by reconciliation. Emails obtained by the Free Press show provincial officials have asked the Manitoba Metis Federation to help combat vaccine hesitancy, and to possibly help Métis people travel to vaccination super sites in cities. Yet there is still no invitation to any group that decides the order of precedence for vaccines, despite First Nations being appointed to that task force on Dec. 18 and receiving doses a week ago.

“The voices of Métis people are being heard through the process,” the premier said. That rings hollow to Chartrand, who says towns that have large Métis populations have medical needs similar to reserves, and should be part of the initial rollout. He feels the Pallister government is punishing the federation over a protracted dispute over a Hydro payout and “playing political games at a time when lives are at risk.” Since the pandemic stared, Chartrand has been in conflict with the province over a data-sharing pact similar to ones with First Nations and Inuit officials.