Saskatoon Tribal Council wants no part of private First Nations vaccine order

·1 min read
Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand says the FSIN should have asked him before trying to cut a deal for the COVID-19 vaccine.  (Chanss Lagaden/CBC - image credit)
Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand says the FSIN should have asked him before trying to cut a deal for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC - image credit)

Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand says he wants no part of a side deal to supply vaccines to First Nations people.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the James Smith Cree Nation announced plans earlier this month to buy large amounts of COVID-19 vaccine for Saskatchewan First Nations.

It prompted federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller to warn First Nations of fraudulent sellers of vaccine. He said it's highly unlikely a pharmaceutical company would sell vaccine to private vendors.

The federal government recently took its concerns about one of those brokers to the RCMP.

Arcand said he wants to make it clear he supports the plan of provincial and federal governments and health authorities.

He said the FSIN has no right to make deals for the Saskatoon-area First Nations.

"Unfortunately, this is where our chiefs are very saddened and disappointed. There was no consultation with our communities with regards to this process," Arcand said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Saskatoon.

Arcand said he sent a letter to FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron outlining his concerns but hasn't heard back yet.