Beverley Perley, took the place of Indigenous scholar and lawyer, Pam Palmater. Perley (56) is an Indigenous elder from New Brunswick and a university-educated nurse. She was unable to appear on camera due to some technical problem. She declared herself “unvaccinated” as well as all her children and grandchildren. The chief of her reserve mandated the “vaccine” to all employees to keep their jobs. People seeking services offered by the reserve, had to be “vaccinated” to receive them. Visitors without a “vaccine” passport were allowed on the reserve (Tobique First Nation).
Those with whom she spoke on the reserve, that had been injected, were given no information as to why they were getting the shot, what it was for, and certainly nothing was discussed about risks or alternatives (such as traditional medicines). She spoke of using cedar, muskrat, grapefruit and lemon peels to make quinine, etc. Those options were not made available. People were forced to take the shot or lose their reserve jobs. She also mentioned that there is a high rate of illiteracy on the reserve, and most people lacked the most basic tool to be informed about the “vaccines”. New Brunswick had a very low incidence of Covid infections, a fact for which the Premier of the province took sole credit.
In response to questions from the panel, Perley argued that the lack of real choice was a basic act of wrongdoing, especially where people were held hostage to their jobs. She also criticized the lack of informed consent. Perley said it was right to close down the community (the reserve), to prevent “outside influences” from making their situation harder. On the reserve of the Tobique First Nation, they entered “code red” before the province did, because two people contracted Covid outside the reserve and brought it in. She complained of the “uneducated fear” that prevailed among reserve leaders. The chief and members of his council (12 members) discussed among themselves, without community participation—and they simply followed provincial mandates. There was a lack of democracy.