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Anishnawbe Health Expands its COVID-19 Response in 2021: New Mobile Unit Added and First Vaccines Delivered

In early 2020, the world was hit with a crisis like no other. When COVID-19 arrived in Canada, Anishnawbe Health took swift action and shifted priorities to focus on delivering immediate assistance to health centre clients and the Indigenous Community. Fast forward to 2021, Anishnawbe Health has continued to successfully ensure that community members have access to counselling, primary care and traditional services, housing supports, psychiatry and psychology care, rapid access to addiction medicine and case management.


Anishnawbe Health Toronto’s latest addition to the Mobile Healing Unit – Ogitchidaa Manido or Warrior Spirit

Anishnawbe Health’s mobile healing unit continues to provide rapid and long-term housing support and perform COVID-19 testing for Indigenous community members with an emphasis on those who are homeless. To date, the Mobile Health Unit has tested more than 10,000 people and recently added Ogitchidaa Manido or Warrior Spirit to the mobile team. This added vehicle allows for increased daily COVID-19 testing, future vaccination delivery and primary health care.

In January, Anishnawbe Health began the first COVID-19 vaccine roll out for Indigenous communities in Toronto. Ninety-one residents and community members at Wigwamen Terrace, an Indigenous retirement home in Toronto, were the first to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine. “It was an amazing day; to us it was like history in the making,” said Harvey Manning, director of programs and services at Anishnawbe Health Toronto. Second doses were administered in early February. CBC News was there to capture the day’s historic event. Read more and see photos here.

Anishnawbe Health Staff prepare Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Photo Courtesy of Red Works Photography.

In February, Anishnawbe Health partnered with The Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health at Women’s College Hospital and other Indigenous-led organizations to launch Maad’ookiing Mshkiki—Sharing Medicine. Sharing Medicine is a virtual hub, which connects Indigenous communities with resources regarding the COVID-19 vaccination. The hub aims to guide those with vaccine hesitation and provide them with the necessary information to make an informed decision about their own healthcare. Learn More about Maad’ookiing Mshkiki—Sharing Medicine and watch CityNews coverage of the hub here.


We would like to thank all of our staff, volunteers and donors who have continued to support us during the COVID19 pandemic. If you would like to learn more or make a donation visit