The new Protect Our People MB campaign officially launched today to encourage vaccine confidence and uptake among young First Nation people throughout the province. This grassroots campaign is an effort led by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Inc. (SCO), Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO), Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM), the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM), and the Manitoba government.
As Manitoba’s test positivity rate rises with an increasing number of variants of concern in younger age brackets, some are choosing not to get vaccinated because of misinformation and fears about the virus and the vaccines. Protect Our People MB focuses on those aged 18 to 35, primarily through social media platforms, in partnership with recognized First Nation influencers and trusted community leaders. The campaign focuses on their stories, why the vaccine is important to them, and how it can protect people, their Elders, and communities as a whole.
Influencers involved to date in the campaign include comedian and TikTok influencer Sherry Mckay (Sagkeeng First Nation), musicians William Prince (Peguis First Nation) and Leonard Sumner (Little Saskatchewan First Nation), and entrepreneur Brandi Woodhouse (Pinaymootang First Nation), as well as TikTok star Michelle Chubb, actor and comedian Ryan McMahon, comedian Ken Bighetty, and community organizer and public speaker Michael Redhead Champagne.
This collaboration aims to generate a broader awareness of the facts behind the COVID-19 virus and vaccines, while emphasizing the importance of protecting First Nation peoples and cultures by getting vaccinated.
All people are encouraged to follow and share videos and posts from the Protect Our People MB campaign accounts: Instagram @protectourpeoplemb, Twitter @protectourpplmb, and Facebook @ProtectOurPeopleMB.
They are also invited to share their stories and experiences as part of the campaign by using the vibrant star blanket motifs in the social media frames available on Facebook and Instagram, using the following campaign hashtags: #protectyourself, #protectourpeople, #protectourcommunities, #protectourpeoplemb #doitforourelders, #doitforourchildren and #vaccineproud.
Indigenous physician, Dr. Marcia Anderson, who is the medical lead of the Pandemic Response Coordinating Team and member of the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, will also be an integral participant in the vaccination campaign. Dr. Anderson will answer questions posed by each influencer to debunk misinformation and myths about COVID-19 and the vaccines, in support of boosting vaccine confidence and promoting a good life and future for all Indigenous people.
This multi-phased campaign will also include radio public service announcements throughout Manitoba in English and various Indigenous languages, along with other supporting materials that will be distributed to provincial vaccination sites.
For more information on the Protect Our People MB campaign and how to get involved, visit protectourpeoplemb.ca.
For more information on Manitoba’s vaccine program, visit protectmb.ca.
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For more information:
Caitlin Reid, SCO Communications
Renata Meconse, AMC Communications
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Brant Batters, Press Secretary to Minister Stefanson