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. (File photo)

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. (File photo)

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

Photo screen-shot from School District 51’s website
COVID-19 infection confirmed in Boundary School District

Those potentially exposed to the virus have been told to self-isolate, says acting Superintendent

Stock image.
Judge tells Grand Forks man accused of theft to guard his personal property

Edward ‘Joe’ Wright is accused of a break and entering at a flood-damaged property in North Ruckle

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Greenwood man to stand trial for alleged stabbing

Grand Forks provincial court will set a trial date next month

Grand Forks Mounties look on as a tow truck prepares to haul an SUV involved in a Highway 3 crash near the intersection of Spraggett Road Friday, April 9. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
First responders attend Highway 3 crash in Grand Forks

No one appears to be hurt in the two-vehicle crash which highway stopped traffic in both directions

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

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

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
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

Most Read