Siksika Nation Community Paramedics
Morning light silhouettes a sign on a hill near the entrance to the Blackfoot Siksika Nation, an hour east of Calgary, Alberta on April 21, 2021. The Siksika Nation is the second largest First Nation is Canada by size and is home to over 8,000 residents.
Siksika Community Paramedics or Aisokinaipiyokiiks in Blackfoot, John Taplin (right) and Sam Wolfleg (left) prepare their gear and finish checklists before starting their shift on April 21, 2021. The Siksika Nation is the first First Nation to adopt the Aisokinaipiyokiiks or “Healing Leaders” in Canada.
Siksika Aisokinaipiyokiiks Sam Wolfleg (right) and John Taplin (left) walk into a home on April 21, 2021 to visit a patient who has reached out for support. The Aisokinaipiyokiiks bridge the gap between high acuity pre-hospital care and individual patient driven care.
Sam Wolfleg (left) and John Taplin (centre) entertain a child while a patent speaks to a specialized health practitioner via web call on April 21, 2021. All of the Aisokinaipiyokiiks are trained as advanced paramedics in addition to primary and chronic care management.
Siksika Aisokinaipiyokiiks John Taplin holds a travel case containing COVID-19 Moderna Vaccines prior to delivering them in the community. As of May 2021, Siksika no longer has any cases of COVID on the nation and has started providing COVID 19 testing to non-nation members from outside communities.
Siksika Aisokinaipiyokiiks Sam Wolfleg prepares a COVID-19 vaccination to be delivered and administered at a patients home on April 21, 2021. The Siksika Nation suffered six times the national average per capita in COVID-19 deaths early in the pandemic.
Sam Wolfleg (centre left) and John Taplin (centre right) assist a family in their backyard in Siksika Nation on April 21, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the Community Paramedics role adapting to provide the care the nation face and are trained to deliver in person COVID vaccines to isolated individuals and families.
Siksika Aisokinaipiyokiiks Sam Wolfleg (right) speaks with a resident during a home COVID-19 vaccination call on April 21, 2021. Residents have had questions surrounding the vaccinations and at times don’t feel comfortable going into the clinic. The Aisokinaipiyokiiks are able to address in the comfort and safety of peoples homes.
Aisokinaipiyokiiks John Taplin administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to a resident at their home on April 21, 2021. The Aisokinaipiyokiiks along with Siksika EMS and Fire worked together to ensure the majority of the community has been fully vaccinated by the spring of 2021.
Siksika Aisokinaipiyokiiks Jose Dahl (right) speaks to a member of the Siksika EMS on April 23, 2021 after a patient Dahl was with required emergency services. Aisokinaipiyokiiks collaborate with numerous health care providers on and off the nation and connect patients to the most effective care for each community member.
Siksika Aisokinaipiyokiiks Josie Dahl places her hand on a patients arm during a home visit in Siksika on April 23, 2021. The introduction of the Community Paramedics in 2020 has allowed other emergency services such as EMS and Fire and Rescue to focus on high acuity care while the paramedics provide personal and supportive care.
John Taplin (right) and Sam Wolfleg (centre) participate in a online conference call to a doctor with a patient at her home on April 21, 2021. The Community Paramedics have specialized doctors on call in Calgary that they consult with to provide addiction support and medical treatment.
The Bow River winds its way through Blackfoot Crossing on the Siksika Nation on April 23, 2021. Siksika nation is part of Treaty 7 and the Blackfoot Confederacy in Southern Alberta and an hour east of Calgary.