Edition: Summer 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 (MoH);
- 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 Update
Since our last e-newsletter, the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Health Canada have been busy finalizing, reviewing and signing a number of sub-agreements. At the time of writing, eight of the nine sub-agreements have been signed. The sub-agreements include: the Canada Funding Agreement; Novation (Contributions); Accommodations (Office Space); Capital Planning(Health Facilities); Assets and Software; Human Resources; Information Sharing; and Records Transfer. The Health Benefits sub-agreement is soon to be completed. Read more
Health Actions Update
It is exciting to see momentum building around the province from the Regional Partnership Accords signed by regional health authorities and First Nations representatives. As we move into summer, we look forward to seeing the results and recommendations from an evaluation of our Health Actions processes, which will inform our ongoing work with our Tripartite partners - the First Nations Health Authority, and Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Here are some highlights of our current Tripartite work: Read more
New Aboriginal Relations Course
Ministry of Health’s Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch helps shape new Aboriginal Relations course offered to the BC Public Service
Individuals from the Ministry of Health’s Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch were recognized in March for their involvement in shaping a new Aboriginal Relations course that is now offered to the BC public service.
On March 15, 2013, representatives from Aboriginal partner organizations and ministry colleagues came together to celebrate the launch of the "Building Capacity in Aboriginal Relations: We are all here to stay" online training course. Read more
Health Authorities’ Aboriginal Health Leads and Partners work collectively in the Cowichan Valley
The Health Authorities’ Aboriginal Health Leads converged with representatives from the Ministry of Health’s Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch and First Nations and Aboriginal organization partners in Duncan in late May, 2013, at the Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre, a world-class destination that focuses on the economic development of the Cowichan People. Read more
What place/activity/memory best captures “summer” for you?
I have so many great summer memories, but ones that really jump out to me are from my childhood and involve spending time with my extended family in Binscarth, Manitoba. There’s a certain allure to the friendliness and warmth of the small town prairie lifestyle.
I have memories of snacking on popsicles at my Grandmother’s farm, and hanging out under the hot Manitoba sun at the "largest outdoor swimming pool on the Yellowhead highway,” with cousins, uncles and aunts found around every turn. Read more
A Message from our Assistant Deputy Minister, Arlene Paton
Happy National Aboriginal Day! I am honoured to be a guest contributor to the Summer Solstice e-Newletter on such an auspicious date, this June 21, the day each year on which we pause and celebrate our First Peoples who have helped shape our province and our country.
While the relationship between government and government-funded agencies, and First Nations and Métis governments and agencies can sometimes be tense and difficult even in these enlightened times, today is a time to focus on the positive, to see how far our relationship has come and to participate in the wonderful cultural events that are being held around the province. Read more
A Message from our Executive Director
I love to spend time in my garden, and have many pots full of colorful flowers around the yard and on the back deck of my house. I watch in endless fascination as seeds grow into shoots, which become leafy plants, and finally burst into bloom. My neighbours are appreciative. Bees and hummingbirds (and those pesky deer) come to enjoy what grows there. I find it to be a meditative hobby, and don’t even mind what it does to my manicure. Read more
Introducing Health, Crime and Doing Time – an important new report
In March, 2013, Dr. Perry Kendall, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, released his new report Health, Crime, and Doing Time: Potential Impacts of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Former Bill C – 10) on the Health and Well-being of Aboriginal People in British Columbia. Previous reports by Dr. Kendall, such as the comprehensive 2009 report Pathways to Health and Healing: 2nd Report on the Health and Well-being of Aboriginal People in British Columbia, have found that, while many health outcomes are slowly improving, overall, Aboriginal people continue to face challenges and vulnerabilities related to adverse socio-economic factors and other health determinants when compared to other British Columbians. In this new report, Dr. Kendall points out that many of these same factors can influence the likelihood of an individual’s involvement in crime. The report argues that amendments introduced in the Act create legislative circumstances that will likely result in more Aboriginal youth and adults in prisons, and lower health status for Aboriginal populations in correctional facilities, and for their families and communities. Read more
First Nations Community Gardens
By Margaret Yandel, Manager Public Health Nutrition
Experience the hope and optimism of 24 communities, which included 15 First Nations with community gardens, working towards food self-reliance by checking out this online book, Harvesting Change in B.C.'s Remote Communities.
Click on the videos to see and hear how people took action to bring more vegetables and fruit into their remote communities. The First Nations community gardens at Ehattisaht and Kitkatla are showcased in videos on pages 15 and 18. There is also a video on produce preservation training on page 28. Read more
Regional Health Partnership Accords – Similarities Within Unique Partnerships
By Paula Shaw, Policy Analyst
On December 12, 2011, the Fraser Partnership Accord was signed making it the first Health Partnership Accord between a BC health authority, a regional caucus of the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). The purpose of this first Health Partnership Accord has been to “increase the influence of First Nations in decisions relating to health services delivered to First Nations and other Aboriginal people in the Fraser region” as well as “to achieve greater service integration through sharing decisions in planning, management, service delivery and evaluation of culturally appropriate, safe and effective services”. Read more
Ministry of Health Celebrates National Aboriginal Day in Style
The Ministry of Health’s Aboriginal Healthy Living Branch celebrated National Aboriginal Day in style, with a cultural performance by the Le-La-La Dancers, a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dance company from Northern Vancouver Island. Read more