Traditional Ceremony being held Monday to acknowledge fight against COVID-19

Daily Herald File Photo

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is inviting residents to come together from a distance and acknowledge and remember those who have passed away due to COVID-19, are battling the virus, and recognize the efforts of frontline workers.

The ceremony will is also intended to give thanks for vaccine distribution throughout the province

The SHA is asking people to stop where they are on Monday reflect and pause for a few moments between 9 and 9:30 a.m.

“It can be done wherever you are at that time whether it’s at work, at home, at school, outside exercising or in your own personal home,” an SHA release stated.

First Nations and Métis Health is leading the provincial effort for all Saskatchewan residents to pray in unity as the journey to battle COVID-19 continues. People from all cultural backgrounds, religions and beliefs are asked to join this moment of reflection.

Executive director of First Nations and Métis Health, Thona Longneck, offered the following words as guidances from the Traditional Knowledge Keepers Advisory Council:

“We need to respect this virus as an enemy, in the same way that our ancestors respected their enemies. This means we take our fear of the virus and turn it into a courageous, organized front, drawing on all our resources and traditional healing ways, including traditional medicines.”

Longneck added that although residents cannot come together in large groups for this ceremony, they still have the ability to come together and raise their voices as one.

In line with COVID-19 safety protocols, Ceremony Keepers won’t be entering any facilities. Four Pipe Ceremonies will be conducted simultaneously in the homes of each Ceremonial Keeper around the province.

“This is not a virtual event as videoing a sacred ceremony is not allowed, but it is an opportunity for people to personally join a province-wide unity prayer to raise their collective voices to help navigate our way through these difficult days.”