Saskatoon Tribal Council opens vaccination clinic at SaskTel Centre

More vaccines are being put into arms at the SaskTel Centre on Tuesday as the Saskatoon Tribal Council adds its resources to the fight against COVID-19.

With funding from Indigenous Services Canada, the Saskatoon Tribal Council made the decision a month ago to set up the vaccination clinic in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

While the council’s aim is to get Indigenous people vaccinated they are also opening it up to non-Indigenous people. Anyone can register online.

They plan to give out 800 doses in total, running three days a week until they are used up.

Tribal Chief Mark Arcand says the process so far has gone smoothly and response has been positive from the public.

Arcand hopes the STC can do its part through this clinic to help end the pandemic.

“We’ve seen too many people in our communities perish because of COVID-19. We’ve seen a lot of loved ones lost where families couldn’t go to hospitals and be with them on their last moments on earth,” Arcand told CTV News.

“The virus doesn’t know any race age or colour. It’s attacking everybody so we thought as an Indigenous organization we could be proactive and support the overall vaccination process by saving as many people as we can."

This clinic also offers Indigenous smudging with elders on site as well as transportation.

Janet Lafond planned to attend this clinic as soon as it was announced a few weeks ago. She says the process was simple.

“It’s a good way to get in and I don’t mind coming here and getting my shot. I filled out the form, they phoned me back in an hour and told me when to be here,” Lafond told CTV News.

Doug Porter jumped at the chance to make a concrete plan for his vaccination.

“I was going wait and see how things unfolded. I hadn’t had a full plan in place, but I knew I needed to get the vaccination as soon as I could,” Porter said.