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Fact Check-Video of Indigenous group is not related to 2022 ‘Freedom Convoy’

Social media users are sharing a video of an Indigenous group in Canada and claiming that it shows a drum ceremony in support of the 2022 Freedom Convoy in support of truck drivers. The video, however, is years old.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here )

A convoy of truckers set out from Vancouver on Jan. 23, 2022, to the Canadian capital city of Ottawa to protest the government's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers, which the industry says would create driver shortages and fuel inflation (here).

Truckers under the banner Freedom Convoy 2022 had raised C$2.7 million ($2.2 million) through a GoFundMe campaign to fight the mandate. The funds raised would be used to help with the costs of fuel, food and lodgings, the GoFundMe page said. The convoy is expected to reach Ottawa on Jan. 29.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Jan. 20, 2022, (here ) that it is requiring that non-U.S. essential workers such as truck drivers and nurses who are crossing land borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On Jan. 15, Canada imposed its own vaccine mandate for U.S. truck drivers crossing the Canadian border (here).

Because more than two-thirds of the C$650 billion ($521 billion) in goods traded annually between Canada and the United States travels on roads, truckers were deemed essential workers until now and traveled freely even when the Canadian border was closed for 20 months.

The video being shared in the posts, however, is not current.

The same video was shared on Twitter (here) on Jan. 3, 2019, with the caption: “Sound ON & UP Evan Chamakese: (FB VIDEO Dec 30, 2018, #Saskatchewan, #Canada) Eugene Cardinal had the hall rocking tonight. #FirstNations #Indigenous.”

Chamakese told Reuters via Facebook messenger that he recorded the video in December 2018 at a round dance ceremony in Frog Lake, Alberta (here). He said he was "disappointed" at how his video has been miscaptioned in recent posts, saying, "the post [referring to an example of a recently miscaptioned video] is very disrespectful, as it misrepresents the indigenous community and dishonours the legacy of those very well respected elders, who are in the video."

Additionally, Canada requires face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the video does not show anyone with a face mask (here), (here).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. The video, originally shared in December 2018, is not related to the 2022 Freedom Convoy.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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