Edition: Spring 2013
Overview of the Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch
The Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch:
- applies an “Aboriginal lens” to health policy development and program implementation for the Ministry of Health;
- helps implement government’s key strategic directions for Aboriginal health;
- provides guidance and support on Aboriginal health issues to other ministries;
- collaborates with key Aboriginal stakeholders and political organizations; and
- works with health authorities to integrate Aboriginal interests into their services.
First Nations Health Governance
The days are getting longer and spring is quickly approaching, and so too is July 2, 2013, and the start of the phased transfer of federal health programs and services currently under Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health BC region over to the First Nations Health Authority. The tripartite partners continue to meet regularly, working toward the phased transfer. The work is coming along well, and there is still a lot of work to be done. Read more
As the Tripartite partners – Ministry of Health, Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, and First Nations Health Authority - reach the five-year mark in implementing Health Actions, we are looking at where we’ve been and where we’re going. The Tripartite Management Team, which oversees progress toward achieving Health Actions commitments in the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, has recently commissioned a review, and the findings will guide our future work. The following updates highlight some of our current Health Actions work. Read more
Spring Staff Feature
What are you most looking forward to this spring?
I am most looking forward to celebrating Easter with my family, as Easter has always been my favourite holiday. My owie (aunt) used to bring family and friends together to make homemade Easter treats and assemble baskets of candies to sell because there are not many options on Haida Gwaii for Easter stuff! And since my nephews and nieces came into the picture, we usually have a big Easter egg hunt on my brother’s farm, and ride horses, and have a big family dinner. Read more
Unified Aboriginal Youth Collective Forum
Opportunities for Engaging with Our Fellow Aboriginal Youth Attending the Unified Aboriginal Youth Collective Forum
By Monique Auger, Aboriginal Youth Intern
From Friday, March 1, 2013, to Sunday, March 3, 2013, Aboriginal youth from across the province gathered at the Tigh-na-mara Resort, on the Traditional Territory of the Snaw’naw’as and Qualicum First Nations, for an Aboriginal Youth Forum. The forum, Exploring Our Health, Maximizing Our Potential, was hosted by the Unified Aboriginal Youth Collective and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation and brought together First Nations and Métis youth, ranging in age from 16 to 29, to take part in a number of health and wellness-based workshops. My colleague Andrea Medley and I were among those to attend as representatives of the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (AYIP). Read more
Learn to Run 10K
By Andrea Medley, Aboriginal Youth Intern
Here we are in Week 8 of 13 of the Learn to Run 10K Program. With five weeks left to go, we are now facing our more difficult sessions, with running portions starting to exceed 10 minutes! The Program provides an easy-to-follow 13-week schedule, with the first session beginning with jogging 1 minute, then walking 2 minutes, and the last session ending with running 10K. Read more
Aboriginal Health Leads Meeting in Chilliwack
Health Authorities strategize with Aboriginal partner organizations in Chilliwack
Representatives from the Ministry of Health, Health Authorities and Aboriginal organizations came together in Chilliwack on January 30, 2013, to work together on collective issues to improve the health and well being of First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples. Read more
Steady progress continues towards implementing the British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance which will see the transition of programs and services currently run and managed by Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to the First Nations Health Authority. The transfer dates of July 2, 2013, and October 1, 2013, once seemed far off in the distance, but now they are approaching quickly.
I have been impressed by the dedication and hard work of all those involved at the First Nations Health Council, the First Nations Health Authority, Health Canada and here at the Ministry of Health. The amount of work and the details that have been involved in such a transfer is truly incredible.
In addition to the transfer, there are also many dedicated staff involved in implementing specific actions on the ground to improve the health and wellbeing of First Nations and Aboriginal people. Examples include training programs for Aboriginal Doulas, the development and implementation of strategies to build a strong First Nations health workforce, and continuing to focus on ensuring that culturally appropriate, responsive, holistic and integrated services are available and accessible for BC First Nations, home and away from home.
Together, with our First Nations and Aboriginal partners and organizations, we are setting the stage for a new and better way of working towards achieving greater health and wellness for Aboriginal people in British Columbia.
I look forward to updating you on our continuing progress in the next issue.
Honourable Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid
Ministry of Health
Executive Directors Message
The harbingers of spring – the leaves sprouting on the trees, the flowers blooming, the geese noisily crossing our skies, the birdsongs – are all welcome symbols of transition and change. The world takes on colour again after a long season of dullness. The light changes. We change our clocks and our wardrobes as we come out of the winter season (moaning just a bit about extra pounds and pale skin). Things are renewed all around us, and we are motivated to renew ourselves. Read more
Mental Wellness and Substance Use Provincial Approach to Support Communities
A Path Forward: BC First Nations and Aboriginal People’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use 10 Year Plan (The Plan) was released in March. The Plan serves as a Provincial Approach to Facilitate Regional and Local Planning and Action, and fulfils a commitment in the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan and the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan to address adult mental health, substance use as well as young adult suicide through an Aboriginal Mental Health and Substance Use Plan. Read more
“From Hope to Health:
Towards an AIDS-Free Generation”
By Mary Chu, Policy Analyst
Given the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on First Nations and Aboriginal individuals, families, and communities in BC, addressing HIV/AIDS is a key priority for the Ministry of Health and Tripartite partners - First Nations Health Authority and Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health. Read more
Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities
Sharing lessons through the 2012 Honour Your Health Challenge Regional Conferences
By Cain Kerehoma, Aboriginal Provincial Coordinator for Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities
In the fall of 2012, I was privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to present and participate in the Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities (AHLA) Honour Your Health Challenge Regional Conferences. Having recently migrated across the Pacific Ocean all the way from New Zealand, getting the chance to see some of the beautiful parts of British Columbia was most humbling. Prince George’s -15 Celsius was a truly new experience and a lesson in not forgetting your hat when going outside! Read more