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On May 19, Members of Fraser Health’s Aboriginal Health team gathered at St. John the Divine in Maple Ridge to host a vaccination clinic focused on members of local Indigenous communities. The Lounge and Hall in the church provided ample space for health team members to check-in and vaccinate patients with a special emphasis on creating a supportive environment.

The Aboriginal Health preparations included smudging the space prior to the arrival of patients. In the reception area, medicine bags were provided containing sage, cedar, sweetgrass and local tobacco. Vaccinations were given while recipients sat in a large circle where they could face one another and talk while they waited to complete the vaccination process.

Lead Aboriginal Health staffer for Fraser Health Stephen Thomas, said, “The space was wonderful and we were able to get 45 people protected today.” 

The parish community of St. John the Divine in Maple Ridge is pleased to have its spaces used to support our neighbours, and look forward to continuing our service to the wider community.

Many thanks to Laurel Dahill, Vicar of St. John's for sending in the story and the photos.