Researchers Studying 1918 Northern Flu Pandemic

Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 15:02



Testimony from two northern elders who lived through the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 is being recorded for future use.


Willie Ermine is a researcher with the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre.


For the past few months, he has been examining the flu’s impact on his home community of Sturgeon Lake in an effort to better understand how communities like it can plan for another pandemic.


He says interviews with community members are key to understanding how residents might react if a similar outbreak were to occur.


Ermine notes 21 of Sturgeon Lake’s 170 members died because of the Spanish influenza outbreak, and he doesn’t want to see it happen again.


Ermine plans to present his findings to the federal government and the Assembly of First Nations next year.


He also hopes to give a video to residents to help them plan for a possible outbreak.