Edition: Autumn Equinox - September 2010
Welcome to the inaugural Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch Newsletter! We have chosen to release a quarterly newsletter in tandem with the four seasons on the equinox or solstice as these occurrences mark the spiritual renewal of each transition.
Solstice is the beginning of summer and winter. The term solstice means “sun stands still” and usually falls on or around June and December 21, when the days get longer and shorter.
Equinox marks the beginning of spring and fall and means “equal night.” It refers to the equal time – 12 hours – of day and night that occurs only on this particular day of the year. The vernal equinox happens on or around March 21 and the autumnal equinox happens on or around September 21; on these days the Sun rises due east and sets due west.
What We Do
The mandate of the Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch is to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples in BC (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples), who currently do not enjoy the same level of good health as other British Columbians. To assist in achieving this mandate, Aboriginal Healthy Living serves as the Aboriginal lens for policy and planning to the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport and the Ministry of Health Services. Aboriginal Healthy Living leads the implementation of the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, provides guidance and support regarding Aboriginal health issues to health authorities and other ministries, such as the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Aboriginal Healthy Living also maintains formal relationships with key Aboriginal stakeholders and political organizations.
Where Are They Now?
The Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch has seen many changes in 2010: new faces come, familiar faces go, and some yet to return.
Click read more if you’re wondering “where are they now”?
I am pleased to introduce the first edition of the Aboriginal Healthy Living newsletter. There are many exciting initiatives underway to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal people in BC. Many of these initiatives are firsts in Canada. This quarterly newsletter is a new way to inform you about these initiatives and the staff and partners working on them.
The groundbreaking Tripartite First Nations Health Plan was the first of its kind in Canada when it was signed in 2007 by the Province of BC, the Government of Canada and the First Nations Leadership Council. Currently, there are over 30 specific actions underway in areas such as population health, health human resources, health systems and research and surveillance. First Nations, the Province, health authorities, and Health Canada are working together to ensure First Nations are engaged in decision making regarding the health of their people. More information is available in the British Columbia Tripartite First Nations Health Plan Year In Review.
A key commitment in the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan was the creation of a new structure for the governance of First Nations health services in BC. The new governance structure has four essential components: a First Nations Health Governing Body, a First Nations Health Council, a Tripartite First Nations Health Provincial Advisory Committee, and a First Nations Health Directors Association. This past July saw another first in Canada with the initialling of an agreement to negotiate the creation of a new First Nations governing structure in BC. Tripartite partners are now working to develop a binding legal agreement that will see a First Nations governing body administer federal health services for First Nations in BC.
There are exciting initiatives underway with the Métis Nation BC, including a data sharing agreement to enable the development of health status indicators for Métis citizens.
Our shared vision is for all Aboriginal people in BC to benefit from these initiatives.
I hope you enjoy reading this first edition of the newsletter.
Honourable Ida Chong, FCGA
Minister of Healthy Living and Sport
link to Minister’s site