EDMONTON -- The first Métis-led COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Canada opened its doors Saturday in Edmonton.

The Métis Nation of Alberta opened the clinic to offer 1,800 first doses of the mRNA Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The clinic will operate in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and will be open from Saturday to Tuesday at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Centre at 11834 Kingsway Avenue NW. Any Métis Albertan born in 1971 or earlier can book an appointment.

The clinic is only offering appointments for first doses at this time.

Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta president, said in a statement that the clinic will help

“We, as Métis people, need to see ourselves reflected in the healthcare we receive, and we’re happy to be able to provide this Métis led vaccine clinic with the support of AHS,” Poitras said.


Reagan Bartel, Director of Health for the Métis Nation of Alberta, told CTV News Edmonton in an interview that vaccine hesitancy among Indigenous people is incredibly high.

“We know that vaccine hesitancy amongst Indigenous peoples is high, and there is a good reason for that,” she said. “We’ve had a traumatic history.”

“We need to see ourselves. We need to be present in those spaces because that is where the trust comes.

“We have the ability to significantly impact vaccine hesitancy which is amazing.”

Reagan Bartel

Reagan Bartel, Director of Health for the Métis Nation of Alberta (CTV News Edmonton)

Bartel added that kinship and community ties will help address vaccine hesitancy and ensure that people feel safe when they get their vaccine.

“The history of trauma and colonialism that has impacted Indigenous peoples in the past and present day have made it so that sometimes accessing the health services that are provided is just not safe. You don’t feel trusted, we have incidences of racism and discrimination.

“By the Métis Nation having an Indigenous vaccination clinic we’re providing a space that is built by community, staffed by community with the support of AHS. So we are creating that space where folks can come and feel like they aren’t being judged.”

Ed Brosseau said he came to get his vaccine Saturday and "appreciated" the Métis Nation of Alberta led clinic.

He said receiving his vaccination at the clinic was comfrotable, convenient, and quick.

"It was quite quick and painless," Brosseau said. "I think everybody and anybody should be getting (their vaccine)."

Appointments for Saturday were fully booked quickly after the clinic was announced, Bartel said. Some appointments remain for Monday and Tuesday.

To book an appointment, visit the Métis Nation of Alberta website or call their phone line at 587-415-4044.