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

As part of Earth Week, Ucluelet Rotary Club member Ryan Wackett will be handing out free Clean Up Packages with grabber picker up tools at his shop Westcoast Connect from April 10 to 23. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet Rotary honours Earth Day with week long community clean up

“Let’s spring into action and clean up our beautiful communities!”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour closures coming to Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song and performance

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Ucluelet locals Rachael, Caroline and Tom enjoy refreshments on a sunny Monday afternoon at a picnic table dining area set up by the District of Ucluelet to help residents and visitors support local businesses while staying outside. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Ucluelet chamber launches bingo contest to support local restaurants

Four Ucluelet Co-op shopping sprees are up for grabs in #Ukee2go competition.

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

Thw male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks to return to play Sunday versus Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most Read