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For immediate release
January 7, 2021


Treaty Five Territory, Cross Lake, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is issuing this statement on behalf of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccines. The Moderna vaccine has started to ship to First Nations in Manitoba today.

Chief David Monias shared the following:

“Tansi nitotemak akwa niwakomakanak meena nitineemak misiweskamik Pimicikamak Akwa misiwe Manitoba.


The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Cross Lake today. The first batch will be designated for Elders aged 70 years and older (168 people), Elders in care homes (11 people), and staff working in the Elder’s home (20 people). This means there is a total of 199 vaccines arriving in Pimicikamak today.


Once the vaccine arrives, we will have just under 30 days to administer it to those listed above. There are 20 vials being shipped and each vial has 10 doses.


Once we puncture a vial, we have five hours to use it. That means we will need to have groups of 10 people ready with their consent forms completed to accept the vaccine before we puncture a vial.


If we have people who refuse the vaccine, that “refusal” will be respected as no person will be forced to take the vaccine. Once we have approached all Elders over the age of 70, we have two options for proceeding—we can use the extra doses for health center staff or give it to Elders who are age 69.


It will be important that we start this work quickly to allow us time if we need to access the health center staff or the Elders who are 69 years of age. We need to work quickly to meet the 30-day timeframe.


Over the next couple days, we will be actioning our plan for how we administer the doses and obtain consent. Our community’s pandemic team will work with the nursing station to make these arrangements. We will likely need to utilize the local nurses to assist in administering the vaccine.


We are receiving the Moderna vaccine as it is more stable and mobile. This allows us to keep the vaccine within our medicine storage area.


We were initially expecting to get the vaccines for February 1st and we learned yesterday that we would be receiving the vaccines now for our Elders. I am estatic and very happy as this vaccine means we can better protect our knowledge keepers and our traditional teachers!


God is great. Thank you for the prayers! Ekosani.”



For more information:
Chief David Monias, Pimicikamak Cree Nation
Phone: 204-391-2344

Helga Hamilton, Director of Health Cross Lake Band
Phone: 431-230-4321

Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Phone: 204-612-1284
Email: [email protected]