Wabanaki Artwork for a Public Health Campaign

Wabanaki Artwork for a Public Health Campaign

To see the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccinations, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Information Homepage.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to reduce the chance of getting COVID-19. The vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.

In 2020, we held a community-member focus group to determine appropriate and culturally centered messaging. That message was: We vaccinate to protect our community. Throughout the pandemic we have encouraged people to receive COVID-19 vaccines and have worked to provide information and change negative perceptions people have about the vaccines.

This was mostly done through our community programs, but we wanted to spread the message even further. In November of 2022, we implemented an ongoing media campaign using Wabanaki artwork on Portland and Bangor buses to share our COVID-19 prevention message with our communities and the people of Maine.

Reanna Sockabasin, a Passamaquoddy artist and WPHW Wabanaki Art Coordinator, developed concept artwork based on our community message. She then painted a final piece and prepared it for production by digitizing the artwork. Reanna included Wabanaki motifs and themes in the vaccination artwork like double curve designs, traditional regalia, and Mount Katahdin in the background. We have continued to use the artwork to spread the message and engage with the communities through our website, social media, and printed materials.

The bus advertisements, which were originally scheduled to run for 8 weeks, will continue to run until the end of March. The bus advertising campaign has received a huge amount of positive feedback from the communities and from the Bangor and Portland communities. The artwork and advertisement began new dialogue within the communities about COVID-19 prevention and the vaccines, but also allowed us to spread awareness about the many public health initiatives we do at WPHW. If you see our artwork, please snap a photo and share it with us using #wabanakiphw!

Click here to learn more about our COVID-19 Prevention work.

Vaccination artwork created by Reanna Sockabasin (Passamaquoddy Nation). Photos courtesy of ATA Outdoor Media.