Youth from treaties 6, 7 & 8 in Alberta produce a COVID-19 awareness video

Khianna Ribbonleg contracted COVID-19 from a funeral. Photo: AFN NYC Covid-19 Awareness youth video

“I got body aches. I slept for two days. I lost my sense of taste and smell for a day. I had a stuffy… My lungs were stuffed with mucus of that virus, so it was really hard to take a full breath. And I had really bad headaches.” - Khianna Ribbonleg, one of the six youths that took part in the video.

Assembly of First Nations of Alberta produced a COVID-19 awareness video.

Khianna Ribbonleg is one of six young people from the region that participated. She is from the Little Red River Cree Nation, where they had a massive outbreak last year. She contracted COVID-19 during a funeral she attended in her community. She said she wasn’t wearing a mask and others there did not wear masks either.

Ribbonleg said it was very scary experience.

“I got body aches. I slept for two days. I lost my sense of taste and smell for a day. I had a stuffy… My lungs were stuffed with mucus of that virus, so it was really hard to take a full breath. And I had really bad headaches.”

This happened in December 2020 before immunizations were available. Now she’s joining with other youth, two from each of treaties 6, 7 and 8, to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Regional Chief of AFN Alberta Marlene Poitras said she hopes that the message the youth bring will encourage other young people to get vaccinated to protect their families and their communities.

Poitras also expresses that we need to keep our communities, especially our Elders, safe and is also concerned about the younger children who cannot yet be vaccinated.

Ribbonleg knows how real this virus can get. She is very concerned that the Elders will get COVID because people are being too lax with safety measures. She expresses how important getting vaccinated is.

Poitras thanks the youth that took part in the video, including Ribbonleg, Austin Johnson, Kesley Pipion, Tessa Wolfleg, Tyra Crosschild, Alexis Kotchea, as well as Rachel McLachlan. 

The Alberta AFN region thanked Indigenous Services Canada First Nations Health Branch for the funding, saying the video would not have been possible without that support.

Poitras says another awareness video will be coming out soon, this time focusing on Elders.

The Treaty 6, 7 & 8 First Nations Youth COVID-19 Video titled Protect Your Community can be found on YouTube.

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