National Association of Friendship Centres conducts awareness campaign
The Ottawa-based National Association of Friendship Centres has begun a campaign intended to counter misconceptions about COVID-19 in urban Indigenous communities. The digital campaign features comedian Ryan McMahon, who uses humour to address a number of myths about the virus. It consists of a series of online videos on subjects including the prevention, contraction and treatment of the disease. The campaign will also include a Facebook Live event on July 22 during which a doctor will answer questions about the pandemic from the audience.
“This pandemic has hit urban Indigenous communities especially hard,” said Jocelyn Formsma, executive director of the organization. “Indigenous people living in urban settings have faced multiple challenges in being recognized and appropriately supported throughout the pandemic response. As Friendship Centres, we were really concerned that no one was really speaking to urban Indigenous populations. While the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous people is not funny, we know how our people use humour to get through many difficult situations. We wanted to find a creative, accessible and memorable way to bring credible resources to people and help keep them and their families safe.”