The Prince Albert Grand Council and Meadow Lake Tribal Council are holding a virtual gathering to uplift the spirits of northern communities.
"We're just trying to do our part, getting some motivation into our members and to our community and into the province to try to motivate people to keep going," Vice Chief Joseph Tsannie said.
Tsannie says the event, which got underway at 4 p.m. CT, is also a way to thank the frontline workers who have been tirelessly working, and provide entertainment.
Tsannie says usually Indigenous Peoples would gather, eat and celebrate in person but with COVID-19 they need to host it virtually.
"It's been a year. Our people and everybody within this province feel like they're drained. Like, it's just so exhausting," he said. "And putting this event together is just a way to say keep going."
People can stream the event on March 13 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. CT on the Prince Albert Grand Council's Group Page on Facebook. The theme is We're All in this Together and a number of musical guests will take part.
In between songs, the event features role models, comedians, chiefs, spiritual leaders, government officials and health experts helping to dispel misinformation about vaccinations.
Tsannie says many people are hesitant to get the vaccine because of the historical medical trials on Indigenous peoples.
"Those stories are still fresh in some of the minds of our adults and the Elders," Tsannie said.
"Even if you look at the water situation, the boil water advisory for some of our communities … Why isn't our community a priority? And all of a sudden the vaccines are available and our First Nations communities … why are they first in line now?"
As well, Tsannie says, people see misinformation and conspiracy theories on social media that lead them to have doubts about the vaccines. He says he always tells people to talk to a doctor or medical professionals for vaccine information, not ask on social media.
Tsannie says several politicians are also taking part in the event, including:
Russ Mirasty, the province's lieutenant-governor, who will read a storybook for children.
Premier Scott Moe.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Marc Mille.
As well, youth in northern communities will be sharing success stories about what they've been up to during COVID-19, he said.
Bighetty Puppets is one of the performers for the variety show:
"We're almost there, but keep going," Tsannie said. "Lift up the spirits of our young people that are in our communities. And it's not just for northern communities, it's for anybody that's willing to log on to Facebook."
Tsannie said he wants to commend the large group that worked together to put this together and the sponsors that made it possible.
"This is the first time we're hosting such a virtual event of this magnitude …" Tsannie said. "It's a big undertaking."