With Louis Riel Day just around the corner, many organizations have either cancelled plans or gone virtual with their event, but the Portage la Prairie Friendship Centre has found a way to keep the in-person festivities alive.
Housing Co-coordinator Jeanna Emms says they partnered with the Manitoba Metis Federation to drum up a unique plan.
"This year, with COVID-19 guidelines restricting what we can do, we did want to do something and recognize the day. We came up with an idea that suits everyone," says Emms. "We decided to do a drive-by situation where they would come by and pick up a bannock taco and an activity pack to take home and celebrate at home."
Usually, the Friendship Centre holds a huge shindig featuring live music, vendors, dancing, and food. Emms reminds people to practice social distancing and be courteous of the COVID-19 rules.
"Anyone that comes to the Friendship Centre on our south side entrance can collect one bannock taco per person and one activity pack for the family," says Emms. "We're starting everything at 11:30 and running until 2 p.m. or until we run out of supplies."
Aside from the upcoming celebrations, the Friendship Centre has been busy running its services, including handing out care packages to the city's vulnerable population and making sure Elders receive food hampers. Emms notes the organization has shifted some activities online to maintain service during the pandemic.
"We've had to adapt all of our services to provide continued contact with our clients and the community in general. (We know) everyone is having a hard time, and at least, (they) can still reach out and talk to somebody at the Friendship Centre," says Emms. "It's been our prerogative since we've been open to maintain contact with our community and to provide these supports."