More than 420 Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Citizens attended the all-Citizen Town Hall that took place January 21, 2021 via Zoom.

In opening remarks, MNO President Margaret Froh welcomed Citizens to the second ever all MNO Citizen Town Hall, introduced in 2020 to keep the community informed during the pandemic.

“Tonight we wanted to share information on Covid-19 and its impact on our Citizens and communities, to talk about the vaccine and how vaccine deployment will roll out for MNO Citizens,” said President Froh. “We will also be speaking about programs we have in place to provide support during the pandemic.”

Click here for a recording of the live event!

 

Update on Covid-19 and impacts

President Froh acknowledged the impact that Covid-19 has had on our communities, and praised the efforts of Citizens and leadership in following public health guidelines and staying safe. Compared to the mainstream provincial rates, the MNO community is reporting significantly lower rates of Covid-19. However, this number has increased in recent months, as it has across Canada. At this time 116 Métis Citizens have tested positive and over 6,210 have been tested. The MNO will continue working with research partners to collect more data on the COVID-19 outcomes in MNO Citizens.

Citizens should also be aware that, as an Indigenous peoples, MNO Citizens are eligible for testing at any Ontario testing centre regardless of whether symptoms are present. Locations of COVID-19 assessment centres, community labs and participating pharmacies are available on the Government of Ontario webpage: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-test-and-testing-location-information.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

President Froh expressed hope that we are now at a turning point in our fight against COVID-19. Health Canada has recently approved the first two vaccines for use in Canada, and in a truly remarkable timeline. Despite the rapid development, no corners were cut. Before the COVID-19 vaccines were approved they were tested on a large number of people through extensive clinical trials and met all the requirements for approval, including safety.

 

Pfizer-BioNTech

Moderna

Approved December 9, 2020

Approved December 23, 2020

mRNA vaccine

mRNA vaccine

Two dose, 21 days apart

Two doses, 28 days apart
95% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning 1 week after second dose

Approved 16 years +

94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning 2 weeks after second dose

Approved 18 years +

 

To date across Canada, 338,423 doses have been administered and there have been 24 adverse events following immunization reported representing 0.007% of all doses administered. Of these 24 events to date, 14 were non-serious and 10 (0.003%) were serious. With these numbers, government officials have concluded that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the risks.

Canada and manufacturers continue to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and have committed to informing the public about any risks that arise in Canada. You can see a weekly update of the adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine at: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety/#summary

The following reliable sources provide additional information on COVID-19 vaccines:

MNO Vaccination plans

President Froh acknowledged that this may be the first of many conversations about COVID-19 vaccines. “Our goal is to create an environment where it’s safe to ask your questions as you make your decision to vaccinate. If there’s interest from MNO Citizens, we can arrange sessions where we invite physicians and vaccine experts to join and respond to your more in-depth questions.”

Additionally, the MNO will be conducting a survey to gather information about how MNO Citizens feel about getting the COVID-19 vaccine; as well as the physical, mental, and social well- being of Métis Citizens in Ontario during COVID-19. The data collected will be linked with MNO programming data as well as administrative health data (e.g. COVID-19 testing data) in Ontario. We anticipate launching this survey by the end of January or very early February and will be notifying Citizens by phone, email and/or text when it’s ready.

There is currently a delay in the vaccine roll-out in Canada, and future doses will be arriving in phases. It was confirmed that the first phase will be available to Métis, First Nations and Inuit. More detailed information will be shared as it becomes available.

The Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) will be meeting January 30-31, 2021 and will make decisions on the anticipated roll out. The PCMNO will make recommendations to prioritize Citizens who are most vulnerable, and will discuss where and how vaccines are administered for MNO Citizens. Vaccines will be available to all Citizens. Citizens must:

      • Present their MNO Citizenship card
      • Present a Government ID
      • Be a resident in the province you receive the vaccine

 

MNO Community Council and Covid-19 Supports

MNO Community Councils around the province have gone to extraordinary lengths to support their Citizens during the pandemic, with many creative and engaging initiatives.
“It’s so important to acknowledge all the work that our leadership and community volunteers are doing to help support each other throughout the pandemic,” shared President Froh. “A very heartfelt marsii to all of our councils, leadership and volunteers that are making a real difference in the lives of our citizens each and every day.”

Citizens are reminded to take advantage of the Covid-19 supports available and share your needs:

covidhelp@metisnation.org or 1-800-263-4889 (toll free)

To date, the MNO has:

      • Helped support over 1000 Métis families (and over 1200 Métis children) with emergency Covid-19 funding;
      • Provided over $2M in supports in from March 2020 to January 2021.

Phase two of MNO’s Covid-19 programming has started and programs are being rolled out as quickly as possible.

 

Phase Two Covid-19 Funding Announcements

Information on all of the phase two MNO Covid-19 supports and programs are available on the MNO’s Covid-19 Updates webpage.

MNO Emergency Income Relief Benefit
Families who accessed the MNO Emergency Income Relief Benefit of $750 in 2020 are eligible to receive an additional $2,000 without needing to provide any additional documentation.

Child-related supports now extend to include children 13 – 18 years:

      • Emergency Family Fund
      • Technology Fund
      • Food Security for Children
      • Special Needs Support Program (ages 0-21)

MNO Food Security & Household Necessity Fund for Adults and Seniors

      • Support available to all MNO citizen’s 18+ to help with additional household costs during the pandemic

Benevolent Fund

      • This fund is intended to provide financial support to Métis families who have experienced a loss in their family since March 15, 2020.

 

Other Covid-19 Supports and Programs Update

The Town Hall also highlighted current and upcoming MNO Covid-19 supports and programs including:

      • MNO Early Learning and Childcare (ELCC) Covid-19 Supports
      • MNO Post-Secondary Education Student Support Fund
      • MNO K-12 Education Support Fund (coming soon!)
      • Covid-19 Housing Stabilization Program
      • Covid-19 Supports for Seniors (new!)
      • Covid-19 Rent Allowance (New!)

As a reminder, all MNO Citizens experiencing mental health concerns are strongly encouraged to use the MNO’s 24-Hr Mental Health & Addictions Crisis Line at 1-877-767-7572.

For mental health program referrals, confidential mental health and addiction, financial and/or legal inquiries contact:

 

Upcoming Events

      • Virtual Mobile Registry | Jan 25-29, 2021
      • PCMNO Meeting | Jan 30-31, 2021
      • Accountability and Responsibility in a Digital World | Jan 31, 2021
      • MNOYC Tea Series with the Gordon Foundation | Feb 2, 2021
      • Finding Unity Through Negotiation: Self-Government Simulation for Youth | Feb 13, 27, 28
      • A Place in the Circle: Two-Spirit LGBTQ Leadership Symposium | Feb 20, 2021

 

Click here to view Covid-19 Vaccination FAQ

Stay informed! Update your contact information!

Contact registry to make sure your contact information is updated by info@mnoregistry.org

 

Slides from the Citizen Town Hall can be found at: Citizen Town Hall Jan 21 Slides