Anishnawbe Health Toronto opening a new Indigenous Health centre and community hub.

Nov. 30, 2019 – (Toronto Star) Anishnawbe Health is close to reaching its $10M goal in a fundraising campaign for a state-of-the-art Indigenous health facility that’s to be built next year in a prime downtown location to serve its estimated Indigenous population of 70,000. The new centre will have a traditional sweat lodge, counselling space for sharing circle and even a kitchen to teach health cooking skills
Anishnawbe Health says 65% of Indigenous adults in Toronto have at least one chronic health condition such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, heart problems. Some suffer mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. 
When Indigenous people try to access healthcare, they are treated differently. See Roadblocks: Health for examples)

National Inuit Health Survey: Qanuippitaa? (“what about us, how are we?”)

Sept. 12, 2019 – The name of the project, Qanuippitaa?, echoes the names of the Inuit Health Survey that operated in Nunavik in 2004 and 2017 and in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut in 2007-2008. It is a permanent health survey, funded by a 2018 federal budget allocation of $82 million over 10 years with $6 million a year ongoing. Data collection is expected to begin in 2021 and take place every five years. All of the data will be owned by Inuit and survey questions will reflect Inuit health priorities.
Nov. 26, 2018 – Ten years after the Inuit Health Survey was completed in 2007-08, researchers are reaching out to 2,500 participants in Nunavut, Nunatsiavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) of the Northwest Territories to seek consent to maintain data for continued study and comparison to results of future Inuit Health Surveys. The 2007-08 International Polar Year Inuit Health Survey, known as Qanuippitali: How about us, how are we? was the first comprehensive research project to look at the health of Inuit in these three Inuit regions. A separate Inuit Health Survey project operated independently in Nunavik in 2004 with a second survey in the region being conducted this year.
“Through the work of this survey, we will overcome longstanding challenges regarding the availability and accessibility of data related to Inuit health and wellbeing. Reliable data that is owned and directed by Inuit is an essential component of good policy making to produce transformational change in the wellbeing of Inuit,” said Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
 “The Inuit Health Survey has contributed greatly to our understanding of Inuit health in Inuit Nunangat. Inuit-supported research is critical to informing the design of policies that influence our quality of life,” said Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. The continued storage of the data and samples provides insight into changes in Inuit health over time. The regional Inuit organizations including Nunatsiavut Government, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in partnership with McGill University are conducting the re-consent. This is being done in support from the Government of Nunavut, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

National Suicide Prevention Action Plan

May 2, 2019 – In a move partly influenced by work done by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the governments of Nunavut and Quebec, members of all parties in the House of Commons said yes to the idea of a national suicide prevention action plan. “Our government is working closely with Indigenous leadership to encourage and promote Indigenous-led strategies to address suicide prevention in their own communities,” Dan Vandal, parliamentary secretary to Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan said. Vandal also gave a detailed description of ITK’s National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, listing its six priorities.
But at the same time, Vandal said ITK’s strategy may not be a good fit for other Indigenous peoples. To that end, he said the federal government is working with the Métis Nation to develop “a Métis Nation specific approach” to suicide prevention. And the federal government is also working with First Nations on a First Nations mental wellness continuum framework directed at First Nations communities, Vandal said.
May 8, 2019 M-174 National Suicide Prevention Action Plan passed in House of Commons
The motion calls for the following:
• The establishment of national guidelines for best practices in suicide prevention.
• A national public health monitoring program to identify groups at elevated risk of suicide.
• Culturally appropriate, community-based suicide prevention programs for Inuit, First Nations and Métis.
• Creation of programs aimed at filling in gaps in knowledge related to suicide and its prevention.
• National standards for training people in suicide prevention.
• Development of tools to promote safe and responsible reporting of suicide by media.
The motion also calls for a comprehensive analysis on how child sexual abuse and other forms of childhood abuse and neglect contribute to suicidal behaviour.
And it calls for an analysis of the barriers that Canadians face in gaining access to health, wellness and recovery services, including substance use, addiction and bereavement services.

Rising Sun

Oct. 24, 2018 – Reducing the Incidence of Suicide in Indigenous Groups – Strengths United through Networks (RISING SUN) is a web-based toolkit comprising the key outcomes associated with successful suicide prevention interventions across the Arctic.  Artic Council, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Canadian Institute of Health Research are collaborating on implementing the recommendations.
 (Suicide rate are 11x higher than the non-aboriginal youth average) 
The principal goal of the RISING SUN initiative was to aid health and community workers in better serving their communities, and to help policy-makers measure progress, evaluate interventions, and identify regional and cultural approaches to suicide prevention. Arriving at common outcomes and having valid measures is important in the Arctic, where the vast geography, high number of remote communities, and breadth of cultural diversity pose challenges for standardized approaches to suicide prevention and the consistent delivery of high-quality mental health care services.  Northern Public Affairs, March 2018

Our Health Counts Project: Urban Aboriginal Health Database Project (Well Living House)

The “Our Health Counts” project will contribute to the priority area of Applying the “Two-Eyed Seeing” Model in Aboriginal Health, specifically utilizing “Two-Eyed Seeing” in assessing and improving the health of urban Aboriginal people. The study design provides an opportunity to address the broad gaps in urban Aboriginal health assessment across health domains and lifecycle stages with a focus on a key health care utilization indicator (ER use)
Our over-all goal is to improve urban Aboriginal health data  by documenting many aspects of people’s health and well-being – as a baseline. At all stages of this project many and diverse partners work collaboratively to make health services effective, relevant and efficient for urban Aboriginal peoples. To date, the urban centres included in this project are Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, London, and Kenora.  An urban Indigenous health information, knowledge, and evaluation (HIKE) network has formed. The HIKE network includes influential representatives from each urban community and members of the research team to share ideas, findings, tools, and resources.

Regional Health Survey (RHS) Phase 3, Vol 1 (First Nations Information Governance Centre)

March 14, 2018 – The RHS is the first and only national health survey created, conducted and carried out by First Nations people for First Nations people by the First Nations Information Governance Centre. The survey collects information about on reserve and northern First Nations communities based on both Western and traditional understandings of health and well-being.
The First Nations’ Principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) changed the research world in Canada with regard to how research is conducted on–reserve and in northern First Nations communities. The RHS process has taken a leadership role in implementing First Nations’ self-determination in the area of research and OCAP has led the way for First Nations to exercise jurisdiction over their information. This is the only way to move forward in the area of research and information management. 

Bear Clan Patrol, Winnipeg

Sept. 5, 2018 – Today’s resurgence of the Bear Clan Patrol is in response to the need in Winnipeg to protect the women, children, elderly and vulnerable community members. Originally started in 1992, a reconstituted Bear Clan Patrol hit the streets after the murder of Tina Fontaine in 2014 with 12 members that now boasts 980 people in Winnipeg alone. It has also spread outside Winnipeg, spanning across 24 different communities in 12 cities in five provinces all the way from Ottawa to East Hastings in Vancouver.
So far in 2018 35 tonnes of food has been donated. They clocked 21,000 volunteer hours in 2017 and forecast 33,000 volunteer hours this year. They have collected almost 30,000 needles so far in 2018. They have seven paid full-time and part-time staff workers. In June, they had $50,000 in temporary work placements. They are janitors, first responders, neighbours, ambassadors but most importantly they do this because they care about the people who call the North End home. (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs)

Building Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities (BRRIC),

Mar. 14, 2019 – The Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) and the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) have developed an in-person training module for Health researchers. ”Building Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities” (BRRIC), is the first of its kind in Canada. It seeks to provide researchers with the basic tools and knowledge to build meaningful research relationships in a good way with Indigenous peoples and their communities.
BRRIC also incorporates traditional Indigenous knowledge and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. It is designed to provide researchers with the necessary policies, frameworks, and Indigenous ethical standards needed to respectfully engage with Indigenous communities and patients including
·       the history of Indigenous health and research in Saskatchewan;
·       existing policies and frameworks guiding research with Indigenous communities such as OCAP™, 
·       Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, 
·       Tri-Council Policy Statement Chapter 9 and
protocol on how to respectfully and meaningfully engage communities in research projects.

First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework

An integrated, holistic model developed by indigenous groups as a national framework that addresses mental wellness among First Nations in Canada. It identifies ways to enhance service coordination among various systems and supports culturally safe delivery of services.
Mental wellness is supported by culture, language, Elders, families and creation and is necessary for healthy individual, community and family life.

National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy

2016 – Inuit did not, historically, suffer from disproportionately high rates of suicide. It is a public health crisis in Inuit Nunangat that can and must be prevented. The high rates of suicide in Inuit Nunangat are a symptom of the social and economic inequities that have existed between Inuit Nunangat and most other regions of Canada since Inuit began to be impacted by colonization and transition off the land into permanent settlements. 
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s top priority, as we identified in our 2016-2019 Strategy and Action Plan, is to take action to prevent suicide among Inuit.
The specific objectives and actions ITK will take to prevent suicide among Inuit fall within six priority areas:
(1) creating social equity, 
(2) creating cultural continuity, 
(3) nurturing healthy Inuit children from birth, 
(4) ensuring access to a continuum of mental wellness services for Inuit, 
(5) healing unresolved trauma and grief, and 
(6) mobilizing Inuit knowledge for resilience and suicide prevention. 

Wise Practices for Life Promotion: Indigenous Leadership for Living Life Well

Nov. 1, 2018 – (Mount Waddington Health Network): A new website to support First Nations communities in preventing youth suicide. Funded by Indigenous Services Canada and developed by an experienced advisory group with support from the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation and the University of Victoria’s School of Child and Youth Care, the new on-line resource focuses on preventing youth suicide through culturally-relevant strategies to support resilience and wellbeing.
Rather than centring on individualized and psychological approaches to suicide prevention, Wise Practices “leads with the language of life” says Dr. Jennifer White, of the University of Victoria.  In a welcome video on the homepage, Thunderbird Partnership Foundation’s Carol Hopkins informs visitors to the site that “we’ve listened to First Nations youth across the country who said that the conversation on suicide prevention that’s focused on death and dying is not helpful to them.  They want to focus on how to live life.”  Towards this aim, the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework conceptually grounds this work.

Lytton First Nation and RES’EAU-WaterNET

Feb. 14, 2018 – (Vancouver Courier): Lytton First Nation is working with public and private organizations and universities in a “circle of trust” to identify challenges and test solutions in real-world conditions. They partnered with RES’EAU-WaterNET, a strategic research network under the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Because problems with drinking-water systems vary, RES’EAU-WaterNET works with communities like Lytton First Nation to gain insights early on in the process. With First Nation’s water-treatment operators at the centre of an “innovation circle,” they and experts from government, universities, consulting firms, water companies, and contractors identified and piloted several options for providing affordable, sustainable water-treatment solutions. 

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