CAF Story | Making a difference in Pauingassi First Nation

Video / May 10, 2021


I think, for many of us, we've never been to reserves. the story people tell us, like telling us the history and different cultural aspects of it, that is definitely new. It's not something we encounter every day.

I'm Cpl Isabelle Haazen. I'm a Med Tech from Canadian Forces Health Services Centre Atlantic.

We are currently in Pauingassi, in Manitoba, and we are vaccinating with the COVID vaccine. I think it is going very well. We've had a decent turnout. It seems to be pretty receptive to us being here and helping out. Some challenges are being language barriers but overall community members who are helping out with the clinic. We have translators and guides as well so it makes people coming to get the vaccine more comfortable, so that really helps out a lot.

Our typical day would be kind of getting up depending on what time the clinic starts. And the first thing in the morning, making sure everything is set up, making sure we have enough personal protective equipment, make sure vaccines are ready to go, and then we'll start when people start to showing up, kind of start fully running through the vaccines, keep on going, have a little break for lunch, and then pick up right after that, and pretty much vaccine until the end of the day.

It is a fair adjustment interacting with people like on the basis. Everybody kind of has a role and you kind of go through, like we have an algorithm and stuff for everything but here, it's more personal because people aren't really familiar with the military and how things are done, so it's a lot more kind of talking, getting people to relax, so it's been more personable.

Everybody seems to work pretty well together. They know what we're here to do. They requested us so they want us here so that's always helpful. They have their roles here, helping out with kind of getting the consent form and actually reaching out to the community to let them know what's going on so that, in terms of getting people to actually come for the vaccine, is great. And they want us in here. They kind of let us do what we're here to do, so we work well together.

Interacting with the population and kind of knowing that there is this whole other culture and society essentially within our own country and within our own provinces is pretty cool to see.

For me, it was very easy to just kind of get everything together and ship out, so that part was not stressful. I know that for a lot of people it is, so I think I really lucked out having like that support at home to be able to come do this. Like really, I'm enjoying being here right now, because it is like feeling I could really actually be giving back, making a difference. As much as it is great to treat our own members, to actually build and... to serve the country is a really great feeling.

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