BARRIE, ONT. -- The Mnjikaning Arena Sports Ki on the Chippewas of Rama First Nation has been a centre of hope this week.

Over three days, 594 people, including community members, their spouses, and staff, rolled up their sleeves at the arena for their first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The community counts about 2,000 members.

Chief Ted Williams was among those to receive the shot. He says this felt like so many other needles he's had through his life, except for one thing.

"I received the vaccine from my niece, who is a paramedic, working not just with Rama but with Simcoe County," Williams said." "That was a nice moment."

Williams says the vaccination clinic gave families the chance to see each other again after months apart, in isolation.

Knowing how vulnerable Indigenous communities can be to COVID-19, Williams says he is proud of the program they've been able to pull off on a tight schedule. He also stresses the importance of not dropping pandemic measures like distancing and handwashing.

Williams expects another shipment of Pfizer vaccine in three to four weeks.