Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – Sharing Medicine

Sharing medicine banner

Rationale and Background

Public Health authorities have begun a national roll-out of two COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19; Moderna COVID-19) to prioritized populations, including segments of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. Despite the prioritization of these populations, there may be barriers to the uptake of COVID -19 vaccinations across our communities for numerous complex and context-specific reasons. One of the barriers identified by our communities and by service providers, decision-makers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers is a lack of culturally safe and relevant educational materials about vaccination. It is critical to address this need urgently due to the rising rates of covid within some of our communities as well as the ongoing barriers related to a lack of cultural safety in the healthcare system.


Confirmed First Nations, Inuit and Métis Healthcare Professionals, Traditional Practitioners & Trusted Community Members:


Indigenous Languages Translations: Interactive PDF Guides

  • Eastern Ojibwe
  • Ojibwe-Cree
  • Cree
  • Mohawk
  • Cree
  • Michif

info on COVID-19


Info on vaccines

Key messages slide

More key messages

COVID-19 slide

Slide about rights


Slide about your rights Slide about additional rights

Your rights and the covid-19 vaccination Continuation of your rights

  • Waneek Horn-Miller, Mohawk Olympian, Mother & Motivator
  • Dr. Ojistoh Horn, Bear Clan Family physician from Kahnawake, Working in Akwesasne
  • Kahentinetha Horn, Otiskareh:Wakeh — Spitting Bear Clan, Kahnawake
  • Leonard Benoit, Qualpi Mi’kmaq Indigenous Patient Navigator—Wolf Clan Organization: Toronto Regional Cancer Program

Sharing medicine common questions

What to expect after vaccination traditional wellness practices

What’s in the Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines approved by Health Canada: Pfizer-BioNTech & Moderna & how do they work? – download .pdf
COVID-19 Vaccines – download.pdf

  • Dr. James Makokis, MD., M.H.Sc, CCFP
    Organization: CAMH; University of Toronto; University of Alberta
    Affliations: Medical Director, Shkaabe Makwa, CAMH; Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta; Adjunct Faculty, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Lisa Richardson, MD, MA, FROC Strategic Lead in Indigenous Health
    Organization: Women’s College Hospital, University Health Network, Temerty Faculty of Education, University of Toronto
    Affiliations: Staff physician, General Internal Medicine, University Health Network; Strategic Lead, Indigenous Health, Women’s College Hospital & Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Co-Chair, Indigenous Health Program, University Health Network
  • Cheryllee Bourgeois, Exemption Métis Midwife
    Organization: Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto; Call Auntie Clinic
    Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Ryerson University, Midwifery Education Program

Intersections Between Biomedicine & Traditional Knowledge(s) & Medicine(s)

  • Dr. Karen Hill, MD.D, CCFP, Assistant Professor
    Organization: Department of Family Medicine McMaster University
    Affiliations: Co-Auntie “The Aunties Dandelion” Indigenous community-based engagement, films, lectures, workshops and research support.
  • Dr. Amy Montour, BScN, MSc, MD, CCFP (PC)
    Organization: McMaster University
    Affiliations: Brant Community Health Care System
    Haudenosaunee, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
  • Elva Jamieson, Traditional Medicine Practitioner /Teacher – Lead
    Organization: Juddah’s Place
    Affiliations: Six Nations Family Health team, Soahac =Chippewa, London, Windsor, Owen Sound,
    Oneida Medical Centre, Ogwanohgwatrae:’ Six Nations Traditional Medicine, Aamjiwnaang Health Centre, Sarnia,K/Gaweniyo Schools, Cultural Immersion School
    Six Nations, Cayuga Nation, wolf clan of the Six Nations confederacy located at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
  • Ashley Montour, BSc, RPN
    Haudenosaunee, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory

COVID-19 and pregnancy

is the vaccine safe during pregnancy

how to be healthy during pregnancy

vaccinations during pregnancy

vaccinations during pregnancy continued

Western science

Family and covid-19

vaccines for children

how to be healthy

FAQ slide

follow public guidelines

vaccines and children

vaccines and children continued

vaccines and children continued part 2

Download PDF

  • Clay Shirt, Knowledge Keeper
    Organization: Waakebiness-Bryce, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto
    Wolf Clan of Saddle Lake Alberta, Treaty 6
  • Pauline Shirt, Cree Spritual Consultant
    Affiliations: Co-founder of the Kapapamahchakwew – Wandering Spirit School
    Red-Tail Hawk Clan of Saddle Lake Alberta, Treaty 6
  • Luanna Shirt, Indigenous Cultural Knowledge Educator/ Indigenous Language Advocate
    Nehiyaw/Anishinaabe Kwe/Bizhiw Dodem
  • Les Harper
  • Dee Sheridan

This project aims to build on other community-led and allied initiatives that share the goal of advancing access to quality and safe healthcare services for our communities and meeting the needs of those who are systemically marginalized. Specifically, this project aims to provide timely, accurate, trauma-informed, and culturally relevant information about medical concepts related to available COVID-19 vaccinations with the explicit aim of empowering informed consent and decision making of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples living in urban and related homelands.

The Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health (CWP-IH) in partnership with Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC), Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT) and The University Health Network, Indigenous Health (UHN) and Shkaabe Makwa (CAMH) will develop public-facing and community-centered informational resources/ tools (i.e., video blogs and infographics) tailored for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Using a strength-based, relatable approach that resonates, this initiative will provide accessible resources that recognize and respect Indigenous worldview(s), rooted in upholding principles and standards of Indigenous knowledge translation through oral storytelling; sharing traditional knowledge(s) and healing practices that can build immunity with western biomedical scientific information and acknowledging traumatic experiences in healthcare.

  • Design information products and tools that use plain language while ensuring that materials are culturally and contextually relevant for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples living in urban and related homelands
  • Highlight additional resources related to available COVID-19 vaccinations, beyond the scope of this initiative, aligned with the key project objectives and overarching commitments
  • Adopt a variety of methods to deliver messaging (e.g., social media, websites, radio, print, videos) to ensure communication is accessible and reaches as many people as possible
  • Draw on personal experiential narratives from First Nations, Inuit and Métis storytelling practices to explain statistical, western biomedical and public health information specific to COVID-19 transmission, spread and prevention
  • Bring facts to life and model behaviour(s)/values of:
    • kind honesty, integrity, humility, wisdom, love, respect, relevance, responsibility, reciprocity, courage, bravery
  • Use decolonial approach and framework to situate and unpack the concept of “vaccine hesitancy”, address the relationship between biomedicine and traditional knowledge and medicine, and explain COVID-19 vaccinations


All Research: harnessing community and peer-reviewed evidence (updated daily) and regulatory recommendations from the Centre for Effective Practice.

  • Ingredients and allergies.
  • Possible side effects.
  • Where to get vaccinations.
  • Differences between vaccines.
  • How are they administered.
  • Who are they currently available for.

  • Complimentary practices.
  • The relationship between biomedical definitions of health and culturally situated definitions of wellbeing.
  • Drawing from both systems of knowledge.

  • How might it be related to colonial histories and ongoing experiences of anti-Indigenous racism?
  • Define the various underlying factors for vaccine hesitancy generally and for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples specifically
  • Examine how colonialism, racism and mistrust challenge vaccine uptake amongst First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations, which directly impacts their health and health outcomes.

  • Vaccine safety.
  • Pregnancy and vaccination.


Selena MillsLead, Health Transformation & Strategic Communications: The Centre For Wise Practices in Indigenous Health, Women’s College Hospital
Lisa RichardsonStrategic Lead in Indigenous Health, the Centre For Wise Practices in Indigenous Health, Women’s College Hospital
Emily SimmondsPhD. Candidate, Science and Technology Studies, York University
Ashley MigwansProgram Coordinator, Indigenous Health & Population Health and Social Medicine, University Health Network
Caroline Lindstone-JonesChief Executive Officer, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council
Nicole BlackmanProvincial Director, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council

Planning, Research, and Knowledge Translation

Rebecca MadorOntario Indigenous Culture Safety Team Lead, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council
Elisa LeviRD, MPH, Independent Consultant
Kateri GauthierIndigenous Education Coordinator, the Centre For Wise Practices in Indigenous Health, Women’s College Hospital
Elder Diane LongboatAboriginal Services Elder, Shkaabe Makwa, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Renee Linklater Shkaabe MakwaSenior Director, Shkaabe Makwa, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Harvey ManningDirector of Programs and Services Anishnawbe Health Toronto

Language Translations

  • Loretta Assinewai-Fox and Her Aunties

Graphic Design

Bryn LudlowPhD. Candidate, Communications and Culture Studies, York University

Video Production and Editing

Lindsay SarazinFounder, Wolf Eye Productions
Emery KnightEditor, Wolf Eye Productions
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