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For immediate release
August 1, 2020
MKO Urges Province of Manitoba and Northern Health Region to Re-Open Health Clinic in Leaf Rapids Immediately
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is requesting the Province of Manitoba and the Northern Health Region to re-open the only health clinic in the community of Leaf Rapids. The clinic, which serves the approximately 500 people living in the community, is closed until August 10 due to high water levels in Leaf Rapids.
“Many MKO citizens live in the community of Leaf Rapids and we are concerned about their ability to access health services should an emergency occur anytime between now and August 10,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “The citizens in the community were disappointed to find out that the health clinic would be closed until August 10.”
Earlier this week, Grand Chief Settee sent letters to the Government of Manitoba asking that they call a state of emergency for Leaf Rapids and work to reinstate health services immediately. Grand Chief Settee and NCN Chief Marcel Moody met with Northern Health Region to provide options in the reopening of the health clinic as there is only one ambulance to serve the entire community. If more than one person were to require emergency transport or health services, the result could be tragic.
“We are concerned that deficient health services will put the residents of Leaf Rapids at risk with possible fatalities,” shared Grand Chief Settee. “We are requesting, in the strongest terms possible, that Manitoba and the Northern Health Region ensure the health clinic in Leaf Rapids is staffed with a physician and support staff prior to August 10 to help the availability of quality health services and to prevent any possible fatalities. Given that we are living in the midst of a pandemic, keeping the health clinic open should be a top priority to help ensure the safety and wellness of all Manitoba residents, especially the disadvantaged such as the residents of Leaf Rapids.”
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that has represented 26 First Nation communities in Manitoba’s North since 1981. The MKO represents more than 72,000 First Nations people.