Elysia Seiber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – October 24, 2020 / 12:54 pm | Story: 314368
First Nations Health Authority, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shannon McDonald with BC Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s medical health officer, was honored by the First Nations Health Authority for her unwavering leadership during the COVID-19 epidemic.
In a post to social media, FNHA thanked Henry for his “kind, calm and reasonable” leadership during difficult times.
Matrix from the FNHA, First Nations Health Council and First Nations Health Directors Association met this week on October 19 to honor Henry with a ceremony of songs, dance, words and prizes, the Post said.
One of the gifts presented by FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shannon McDonald, a silver pendant created by Heldzuk Nation artist Sheldon William, can be seen holding Henry in the photo above.
In an FNHA video update on COVID, McDonald said indigenous communities “have responded very effectively to recommendations made before staying at home.”
“First countries locked their community from the family environment, to the community environment, and really limited the number of people coming and going,” she says.
However, she highlighted that young people are still going out and meeting up with friends and “not getting much message”.
As of October 23, there were 176 Kovid cases in First Nations communities across BC, according to Indigenous Services Canada.
In the video, McDonald advises people to keep their bubbles small and stay home as much as possible, echoing Henry’s message of “low faces, big gaps”.
“Be kind, calm and safe, as Dr. Bonnie says on a regular basis is a big part of what we need to do.”
FNHA is working to reform the policy of providing health care to BC First Nations through direct services and collaboration with regional partners and working with regional and federal partners to actively monitor and respond to the epidemic.