North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma is going public about anti-Indigenous correspondence she’s received after the province granted Indigenous people 18 and older vaccination priority.

North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma is going public about anti-Indigenous correspondence she’s received after the province granted Indigenous people 18 and older vaccination priority.

MLA receives racist emails after B.C. prioritizes Indigenous people for COVID-19 vaccine

Bowinn Ma says the amount of anti-Indigenous sentiments she’s received in emails ‘has gone through the roof’

A week ago the province opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to all Indigenous adults. It’s also when a member of B.C.’s legislature said she was flooded with racist emails.

On Monday (April 5), North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma went public about the anti-Indigenous correspondence she’s receiving after the province decided to grant at-risk populations – including Indigenous people 18 and older – vaccination priority.

Some of the comments “are extremely racist,” Ma said on Twitter. She’s asking others to help in the fight such bias and discrimination.

“It’s important for allies of Indigenous people to know how much they’re needed right now,” Ma said, noting the tens of thousands of emails her office receives each year.

“In my fours years as an MLA, I’ve not faced such prolonged emotional exhaustion as a result of emails I’ve had to respond to… it’s just a tiny taste of what Indigenous peoples face every day.”

RELATED: High vaccination rates decreasing COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended – in light of health inequities Indigenous people face – they be among the first offered the COVID-19 vaccine.

First Nations vaccination clinics have led to an 80 per cent decline in active COVID-19 cases in the communities since January, according to Dr. Tom Wong with Indigenous Services Canada.

Squamish Nation spokesperson Dustin Rivers (Khelsilem) said, the government “created a greater burden of disease among Indigenous populations because of decades of inaction and racism.”

“The province’s approach to vaccinating all Indigenous peoples should be applauded as it prevents the worst outcomes from happening and the government not having to say sorry years from now.”

Ma reminded the public that vaccines are expected to be available to the general public by June.

READ MORE: All Indigenous adults in B.C. now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusIndigenousracismvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of Vanderhoof municipal office. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof district rejects FOI request for business name

Officials will release more information about the restaurant on May 21

Audrey McKinnon is seeking the NDP nomination for the federal riding of Cariboo-Prince George. (Twitter)
Audrey McKinnon puts name forward for NDP for federal election

McKinnon preparing for a contested nomination for Prince George-Cariboo riding

Michael Rees at his studio on the first floor of the old Burrard Market Square building. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Painter and print-maker showcased at Vanderhoof Street Art Show

Michael Rees uses narrative in a majority of his work

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Most Read