FNHC Infobulletin Volume 5 Issue 1 | January 2012 - First Nations ...


FNHC Infobulletin Volume 5 Issue 1 | January 2012 - First Nations ...

First Nations Health Council

infobulletin Volume

5 Issue 1 / January 2012

Our Vision: Healthy, self-determining and vibrant BC First Nations children, families and communities

In October 2011, a meeting took place between the leadership and senior management team of the First Nations Health Council and

First Nations Health Society, and senior management of First Nations Inuit Health. A blanketing ceremony, led by Tsleil-Waututh Elder

Leonard George, commemorated the signing of the Framework Agreement, formally welcome their staff to our team and communicate

obligations in working for our communities moving forward.






-Tripartite Framework

Agreement on First Nations

Health Governance

-Fraser Salish Nations &

Fraser Health Authority sign

Partnership Accord

-FNHS & First Nations Inuit

celebrate first joint meeting

-Aboriginal Patient Liaisons

- Make the most out of your

Doctor’s Appointment

- Announcement: New

Video Contest on Injury


- Cheemamuk’s Around

the Kitchen Table

- BC First Nations

Aboriginal Review

Committee: Seek and


-Happy New Year:

Welcoming new members

of the board for 2012!

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 2



Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nations

Health Governance is signed – Now What?

Dear Respected Chiefs, Leaders, Health

Professionals, Community Members

and Partners,

Happy New Year!

In the October infobulletin, we celebrated

the signing of the “Tripartite Framework

Agreement on First Nations Health

Governance.” We also introduced you to

a document that described the strategy

and approach for the conclusion of the

Framework Agreement sub-agreements.

We also described the work planned for

the October-December 2011 Regional

Caucuses. This included revising

and adopting new Regional Caucus

Terms of Reference (ToR), reviewing

the Resolution 2011-01 Workplan and

receiving formal presentations on the

First Nations Health Society (FNHS)

Annual Report 2010-2011.

We are pleased to report that all the

regions have completed their first round

of caucus sessions and we are now

preparing to meet again in the New Year

for the next round of facilitated sessions.

Over the last couple of months,

leadership and health leads shared

their knowledge and thoughts about

the Resolution 2011-01 Workplan. We

took what we heard and built feedback

into a new Workbook: “Navigating the

Currents of Change: Transitioning to a

New First Nations Health Governance

Structure” (the “Workbook”).

This month, we will be launching this new

Workbook which will include progress

reports on each of the steps you

asked the First Nations Health Council

(FNHC) to undertake as per Resolution

2011-01. Further, we will also seek

your feedback and direction to inform

the health governance work moving

forward. The Workbook will focus

on a transition strategy – managing

change in the coming years in a way

that meets our needs and timeframes.

All feedback will be incorporated into

a draft consensus paper. This paper

will present the shared views of First

Nations across the province on how

we can best navigate the currents of

change in the coming months and

years. BC First Nations Chiefs and

health leads will review and consider

this consensus paper at Gathering

Wisdom for a Shared Journey V which

will take place on May 15-17, 2012 in

Vancouver, BC.

The following are a number of brief

updates on other areas of ongoing

work of the FNHC:

Implementation of the Framework


Today, decisions on First Nations health

funding, policies and programs are

made in Ottawa. Likewise, decisions

on provincial health programs that

serve our people are determined in

Victoria or by the Regional Health

Authorities. This will change now that

we have the Framework Agreement.

Thus, we have a tremendous task

that will take a number of years. The

first stage of the change is a period of

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 3


(cont’d First Nations Health Council Update)

transition that will last 2-5 years. The

next two years will be for the purpose

of achieving the transfer: creating the

interim First Nations Health Authority,

preparing it to receive federal programs

and services, and working with our

partners to finalize arrangements to

transfer the programs and services.

The second stage of the change is

transformation. Once we have achieved

the transfer in 2013, we will then turn

our minds toward transforming those

programs. Until then, we will need to

continue with the current programs and

services in anticipation of the new FNHA

taking complete control of programs in

2013. This will allow us additional time

to learn more about the programs and

engage fully with all BC First Nations

(consistent with the Engagement and

Approvals Pathway set out in the

Resolution 2011-01 Workplan) on how

you want those programs to change.

Ongoing commitment to community

engagement through Regional

Caucus sessions

In October, the FNHC established

the “FNHC Community Engagement

Working Group.” This group is

composed of a FNHC representative

from each of the five regions [Fraser

– Chief Maureen Chapman; Interior

– Chief Bernie Elkins; North – Chief

Marjorie McCrae; Vancouver Coastal

– Leah George-Wilson; Vancouver

Island – Shana Manson; and Chaired

by FNHC Deputy Chair Warner Adam].

This newly formed group will provide

guidance to the FNHC’s provincial and

regional engagement processes. To date

they have discussed the development of

an annual community engagement plan

and provided feedback and direction

for the development of the upcoming

Workbook and other communications


Supporting the Creation of Regional


The Consensus Paper passed at

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey

IV stated that Regional Caucuses will

be supported to establish Regional

Tables to develop and implement

agreements and arrangements

between Regional Tables and Regional

Health Authorities. Regional Tables

give First Nations great opportunity

to influence change. The Province of

BC’s health investment for the current

fiscal year is $15.7 billion – most of

which is allocated to the five Regional

Health Authorities. With support from

Regional Caucus leadership, the First

Nations in the Regions will develop

agreements with the Regional Health

Authorities to provide for partnership

on First Nations and Aboriginal health

planning, priorities, budgets, programs

and services.

Over the coming months, each

Regional Caucus will be establishing

its Regional Tables to ensure alignment

with the Consensus Paper and First

Nations interests and needs. This

process will include looking at the

entire existing network of First Nations

human resources and funding support,

including community engagement hubs

and the Regional Caucus process.

This process will aim to align all of

these resources towards our common

goals and commitments as set out

in Resolution 2011-01 and other key

agreements in health.

Health Actions

The ten year Tripartite First Nations

Health Plan calls for systemic change for

the improvement of the health status of

First Nations people in BC and sets out

a number of health actions designed to

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 4


(cont’d First Nations Health Council Update)

improve the health and wellness of BC

First Nations. The FNHC continues to

provide oversight to the implementation

of health actions with our federal and

provincial partners providing funding

to support the planning, design and

implementation of health actions.

Upholding our Partnership

The FNHC, FNHS and FNHDA have

complementary and linked areas

of work that require a collaborative

approach and strong relationships.

First Nations Chiefs and leaders

have approved the Consensus

Paper and Framework Agreement

which describe the importance of our

ongoing collaboration and partnership.

The FNHC continues to work closely

with the FNHS and FNHDA to ensure

that we are working in a coordinated

fashion to implement the direction of

BC First Nations and upholding our 7

directives in all of these efforts.



We hope this update has been

informative and we look forward to

meeting with the Chiefs and health leads

at the next round of regional caucus

sessions to continue on the journey of

“Navigating the Currents of Change.”

We hope everyone had a healthy holiday

season and we offer you our sincere

wishes for a happy new year.

Doug Kelly, FNHC Chair

Warner Adam, Deputy Chair

January 27th

Northern Region – (Northeast) Sub-Caucus


Vancouver Island – (Central Island) Sub-Caucus


January 31st

Vancouver Island (Sub-Caucus evening


February 1st – 2nd

Vancouver Island - Regional Caucus Session

February 15th and 16th

North Region – Regional Caucus Session

VCC Region – Regional Caucus Session

Vancouver Island – (South Island) Sub-Caucus


March 15th

Fraser Region - Regional Caucus Session

December 13, 2011

VANCOUVER – Recognizing that First

Nations must have more say in their

own health, the Fraser Salish Nations

and the Fraser Health Authority today

signed a Partnership Accord aimed at

making significant progress in improving

the health of First Nations in the region.

This Partnership Accord is the first health

agreement of its kind in the province -

one between a regional health authority

and one of the regional caucuses that

have been formed by the First Nations

Health Society to work with health

partners to improve First Nations health.

The Accord allows for more shared

decision-making between both parties

and increased First Nations participation

in decisions about health services

for First Nations and other Aboriginal

people in the Fraser region.

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 5


Fraser Salish Nations and Fraser Health

Authority sign landmark partnership accord

L-R: (back row) Chief William Charlie Jr., Chief Maureen

Chapman, Grand Chief Doug Kelly; (front) Dr. Nigel Murray,

CEO and President of Fraser Health Authority.

“This agreement signals

an important change, and

the way ahead for how

health services will be

delivered to First Nations

not only in the Fraser

Region, but throughout

British Columbia. If health

outcomes are to improve

for First Nations in our

province, then we must

work in partnership to

make progress,” said

Grand Chief Doug Kelly of

the Sto:lo Tribal Council.

The Accord was signed

by Fraser Health and the

Fraser Salish Regional

Caucus, who provide

political and technical

leadership to the Salish

Nations. The Caucus has

representatives on the First

Nation Health Council, a

provincial body which is

tasked with creating a First

Nations Health Authority

– the first of its kind in

Canada - in collaboration

and the health of the people in First

Nations communities,” said Dr. Nigel

Murray, president and chief executive

officer of Fraser health.

One of the key commitments in the

Partnership Accord is the establishment

of an Aboriginal Health Steering

Committee, which will serve as a forum

for joint efforts on First Nations and

Aboriginal health priorities, policies,

budgets and services in the Fraser


The Accord calls for improvements

in service delivery through more

collaboration between Fraser Health

and First Nations Health Centres in the

region and work with community health

leaders to develop more culturally

appropriate health strategies.

“When we work together with mutual

respect, guided by a plan that will

specify initiatives and milestones, there

is no doubt that we can see change in

First Nations health outcomes in this

region,” said Chief Maureen Chapman,

representative for the Sto:lo Nation

Chiefs Council.

“When we work together with mutual respect, guided by

a plan that will specify initiatives and milestones, there is

no doubt that we can see change in First Nations health

outcomes in this region.”

- Chief Maureen Chapman, representative for the Sto:lo Nation Chiefs Council.

with federal and provincial partners.

(The First Nations Health Society is the

business arm of the First Nations Health


“Fraser Health is committed to working

collaboratively with the Fraser Salish

Regional Caucus to improve Aboriginal

health services delivered within the Fraser

region. This partnership will assist First

Nations communities in governing their

own health initiatives to improve the lives

There are 32 First Nations communities

in the Fraser Salish region of various

sizes, including small and isolated

communities. The needs of the

communities vary significantly, as

does the capability of each community

to engage with Fraser Health. The

Accord specifies that no community

should be forced into region-wide

health strategies but that no community

should be left behind.

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 6

First Nations Health Directors Association

FNHDA Update: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the FNHDA! Wishing

you all the best in 2012.




FNHDA Provincial

Regional Training Session

March 7-9, 2012

The FNHDA Board has decided to host one

FNHDA training session in a region due to the

many caucus and regional meetings planned

before March. In the spirit of unity we look

forward to bringing all of the Health Directors

together for training, networking, and fun! The

location is to be confirmed and we will be in

touch with registration information soon.

FNHDA Board Vice President

After Laurette Bloomquist’s retirement in

September 2011, the Board voted at their

November 18, 2011 meeting to elect a new vice

president. Congratulations to Jacki McPherson

for being selected as the new vice president of

the FNHDA Board.

As one of the Association’s founding members,

Jacki McPherson’s First Nations health

experience and knowledge is an asset to the

continued connection of the FNHDA to the

communities that Health Directors serve. Jacki

is from the Okanagan Nation and she manages

health services for the Osoyoos Indian Band –

a progressive community where the leadership

supports the health and well-being of the


FNHDA Board Welcome

Welcome to three new FNHDA Board

Members: Kim Brooks

(Vancouver Coastal Region),

Lauren Brown (Northwest

Region) and Keith Marshall

(Vancouver Coastal Region).

Kim Brooks is a member of the

Taku River Tlingit First Nation.

S h e was born on the lower mainland

and was raised in Vancouver, Whitehorse

and Atlin, BC. She completed her postsecondary

education at Simon Fraser

University. Kim has worked within Federal,

Provincial and First Nations government

and is honoured to currently be serving as

the Department Head of Yúustway Health

Services of Squamish Nation.

Lauren Brown is from the Haida Nation and

graduated with a BSN in 1998 from UBC.

She has been working towards improving

Aboriginal Health and has held positions

which have helped her towards achieving

this goal. Working in various provincial

based organizations in Vancouver

(Chiefs Health Committee, Healing Our

Spirit, Patient Advocacy in Women’s and

Children’s Hospital & St. Paul’s Hospital);

Lauren gained experience in policy and

program development, teaching, and

liaising with government. Lauren decided

to move to her northern, remote and

isolated community where she is realizing

that the greatest impact is working with her

own people in her own community as the

Health Director. Although very challenging,

working at the community level has been


Keith is an experienced professional with

over 30 years of experience working with

federal, provincial and private organizations

in managerial and senior administrative

positions with these organizations. Keith

possesses a Bachelors of Education,

Bachelors and Masters of Social Work and

a Masters in Public Administration from

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Currently Keith is the Director of Community

Health Programs for the Hailika’as Heiltsuk

Health Centre in Bella Bella, BC.

FNHDA Board Farewell

Doreen L’Hirondelle has accepted a

position in Edmonton, Alberta and has

therefore resigned from the First Nations

Health Directors Association board as

the Northeast representative. As one of

the Association’s trail blazers, Doreen’s

experience and wisdom will be missed.

Congratulations to Doreen on her new

position. We wish you much success,

health and happiness on this new journey.

The FNHDA Board will hold nominations

to fill the position for the Northeast. Stay


Visit the FNHDA website at:


(L-R) Lauren Brown, Kim Brooks & Ketih Marshall

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 7

Research & Surveillance Cluster

Research & Surveillance - Cluster Update

The Research and Surveillance

strategic area has a new name:

Health Knowledge and Information.

This change reflects the desire of the

Tripartite partners to support First Nations

communities in all aspects of creating,

gathering, protecting and sharing their own

health knowledge and information.

A milestone has been reached this quarter

as the first data match of the First Nations

Client File, the file that identifies all

registered First Nations (Status Indians)

in BC, has been completed. Through this

process of data matching, we can make

better use of existing data sources to

inform the planning and delivery of health

programs and development of policies. It

also allows for more accurate reporting on

the health status of First Nations in BC.

The results of the 2008-2010 Regional

Health Survey are currently being

analysed and the provincial results will be

disseminated in the coming months. A

meeting of the Regional Health Steering

Committee was held in November 2011

to discuss the results. The individual

community results will also be returned to

communities that participated in 2012.

The Health Knowledge and Information

team have also been participating in an

innovative evaluation of the Tripartite

response to the H1N1 pandemic. Over

the past two years, the Tripartite evaluation

has heard from key stakeholders and has

also reviewed the health outcomes of

Status First Nations using administrative

health data. The lessons learned from

key stakeholders were presented recently

at the Public Health Association of BC’s

conference in Richmond on Nov 28th and

29th. The title of the poster was “Action,

Equity and Partnerships: Successful

Tripartite Response to the H1N1 Pandemic

among First Nation Communities in BC”.

The results of the health outcome analysis

are being discussed at an upcoming

Tripartite meeting in February 2012 and

it is hoped that the results will be made

publically available.

Native Education College: Aboriginal Health

Care Assistant Program

The Health Care Assistant program is a

free program for Aboriginal individuals

who want to pursue a career in the health

care field. The program is designed to

follow the Provincial Health Care Assistant

Program Curriculum (2008) and is further

enriched with Aboriginal concepts and

methodology on health and healing.

Our students come from many nations,

some have moved from reserves and

villages far away from our city. Many will

move back to their communities to work

and live. All of our students have a strong

desire to help others in their communities,

especially elders. These students are the

youth from our communities, mothers

and grand-mothers who are seeking out

meaningful work and a means to selfreliance.

Graduates become Certified

Health Care Assistants and are fully

qualified to work in community home

support agencies, adult day care, assisted

living and residential care facilities.

“This program has given me an amazing

opportunity, a career. Because of this

program, I will have the skills of an

H.C.A. and will be able to provide job

security for myself, so I can support

my family. It’s given me the best

opportunity imaginable”, said Nicole –

current student in the HCA Program.

The Health Care Assistant program

is an excellent stepping stone into a

long career in the health care field.

Many graduates of the program

continue with further education in

pursuits of becoming Registered

Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses or

specialize in specialty health care areas.

“I know now that you never have to

work a day in your life if you enjoy the

work your doing. It is very rewarding to

help others in need

and they appreciate.

When I walk out the

door I feel good about

myself because the

people I help are

grateful for what

I do for them and

it shows in their

faces.,” Key Le-La

– Graduate of the

HCA Program 2011.

We are currently

accepting for

April 2012. We invite applications from

community members who have a strong

desire to work within the health care field.

Interested men and women should apply

online at:


or visit our campus at 285 East 5th

Avenue, Vancouver. You may also call

Sheryl Engdahl, Recruitment/Placement

Coordinator NEC Native Education

College at 778-996-5184 if you have

further questions. Apply early as classes

fill fast!

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 8

AIDS & HIV Awareness

AIDS/HIV - BC First Nations Aboriginal Review

Committee (ARC): The Seek and Treat for Optimal

Prevention of HIV/AIDS Pilot Project

New Year’s Wish for 2012 by Sandy Lambert,

Chair of ARC:

“The development of a

good, meaningful and healthy

relationship between all the

key partners: First Nations,

First Nations Communities,

the Health Authorities and the

First Nations Health Society.”

The Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of

HIV AIDS (STOP HIV/AIDS) Pilot Project is

a five + year initiative being conducted in the

Vancouver and Northern Interior Health Service

Delivery Areas (HSDA) to improve access to

care and treatment for all eligible HIV positive

individuals living in British Columbia. The longterm

objective is to reduce HIV transmission risk

and lower HIV incidence in B.C.

The Provincial and Federal governments have

committed $48 million dollars to this five- year

project entering its final year.

The First Nations population of BC is

disproportionately being impacted by HIV and

AIDS. The challenge for the First Nations

Health Society has been how to ensure that the

HIV needs of First Nations in both pilot project

areas are being taken into consideration. The

pilot project areas have spawned numerous

committees, making it impossible to ensure that

a First Nations representative was at each table.

In April 2011, the BC First Nations/ Aboriginal

HIV/AIDS Review Committee was established

to provide a First Nations/Aboriginal HIV / AIDS

lens to the working groups under the STOP HIV/

AIDS Leadership Committee. The committee

is composed of a First Nation representative

from each health authority and is chaired by

an Aboriginal Person with HIV/AIDS (APHA)

Advocate. Representatives from First Nations

Inuit Health, the Ministry of Health

and the First Nations Health Directors

Association also participate on the

committee while a First Nations

Health Society staff member provides

secretariat support to the committee.

ARC looks at the work of the STOP

HIV/AIDS committees in terms of

decisions and approaches, updates,

risks or issues in relation to HIV/

AIDS programming, resources, and

plans. The committee works towards

the vision of ensuring that a mutually

respectful and meaningful relationship

with First Nations/Aboriginal

communities develops in the health

authority regions.

Over the summer months, ARC

drafted “Advice and Expectations

for the Leadership Committee and

Sub-Committees from the Aboriginal

Review committee (ARC)”. Endorsed

by Dr. Evan Adams, Aboriginal

Advisor to the Provincial Health

Officer, the report was sent out to the

CEO of each Health Authority asking

them to comment with the intent of

In support of AIDS Awareness

Week, First Nations Health Society

employees volunteered to support

AIDS Vancouver Grocery program

at Whole Foods on World AIDS Day.

Volunteers helps bag groceries at 4

Whole Foods locations in the Lower

Mainland. In total, AIDS Vancouver

was able to raise $20,475.47.

Want to learn more about AIDS Vancouver?

Check out their website or add them on

twitter and facebook!




reviewing their feedback. Based on

the feedback, the document will be

reviewed and updated.

The advice in the document is meant to

complement and guide the meaningful

inclusion of a First Nations perspective

throughout the work of STOP HIV/


Written by Elena Kanigan, FNHS HIV/

AIDS Project Manager

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 9

AIDS & HIV Awareness

Northern BC Aboriginal HIV AIDS Task Force presents:

We Are Not Afraid: Knowledge is Empowering

On November 28-29, a leadership forum

was held for Chiefs and Council members of

First Nations communities in Northern BC to

address issues around HIV/AIDS and hepatitis

among First Nation communities. The forum

was hosted by Northern BC Aboriginal/AIDS

Task Force and the Chee Mamuk Aboriginal

Program of the BC Centre of Disease Control

(BCCDC), an agency of the Provincial Health

Services Authority.

“Many Chiefs are concerned about serious

health issues such as the high rate of teen

pregnancies, risky behaviours like drug and

alcohol use among youth and the high numbers

of community members with HIV/AIDS,” said

Emma Palmantier, Chair of the Northern B.C.

Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Task Force. “The forum

will bring together leaders and experts in HIV/

AIDS to help address the challenges faced by

aboriginal communities in the North.”

Emma Palmantier and program coordinator

Colette Plasway, presented a community

engagement project report entitled, “We Are

Not Afraid: Knowledge is Empowering” on the

second day of the forum. Data collection for this

report occurred over two phases and included

recommendations from Health Directors

and First Nations community members who

attended the Task Force`s regional sessions, it

includes feedback generated from 53 out of 55

First Nations communities within the North.

The presentation provided First Nations leaders

the opportunity to discuss current activities,

successes and barriers they experienced

when delivering HIV/AIDS services within

their communities. Common issues

arose from the dialogue, including

challenges around lack of funding for

HIV/AIDS programs and access to

treatment and palliative care centres.

Taskforce representatives also highlighted

report recommendations which included

offering pre and post counselling and

look at administering HIV/AIDS

prevention education and supplies.

Sue Broomsgrove, Senior Manager for

Preventive Public Health at Northern

Health stated, “I oversee harm reduction

supplies for the North: condoms,

needles or other paraphernalia are

free. These supplies are supported

by the BC Centre of Disease Control.

“Patients who are undergoing HIV/AIDS

treatment are in need of community support,”

- Emma Palmantier, Chair of the Northern B.C. Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Task Force

training on what patients should expect

during treatment so that they do not feel

so vulnerable.

Collette Plasway added, “Often, people

who have HIV have an addiction and

they need to change their life around.

It`s easier for them to go home to their

community to deal with this change.”

“Patients who are undergoing AIDS/

HIV treatment are in need of community

support,” says Emma Palmantier, “There

are many people living with HIV and a lot

of families and relatives don’t know how to

care for them. So we need to advocate for

training families and communities on how

to take care of their relatives, this was a

need that was highly identified during our

community engagement.”

The discussion continued into aspects

of harm reduction and the need to

Some Aboriginal centers, referred to as

primary sites, do the ordering for these

supplies. Our secondary sites are also

able to get harm reduction supplies free

of charge; it’s just a matter of getting

the word out.”


Northern BC Aboriginal

HIV/AIDS Task Force

Feb 14th, 2012 in Prince George, BC.

You can read

the project

report `We Are

Not Afraid:

Knowledge is





First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 10

AIDS & HIV Awareness

Community Engagement Hubs collaborate

with Around the Kitchen Table What’s a Community

“If there’s one message I want to send to

Community Engagement Hubs, it’s always

remember to ask questions, it might open

the doors for future partnerships and

collaborations,” says Vanessa Mitchell, Hub

Coordinator, Okanagan Nation Alliance.

Chee Mamuk’s had not previously delivered

Around the Kitchen Table (ATKT) training

in our region, when I called to explore the

possibilities, they were more than willing to

try and make it work.”

Chee Mamuk is an Aboriginal Program

based out of the BC Centre for Disease

Control. One of their projects is entitled

“Around the Kitchen Table (ATKT)” that

offers training based on the “train-thetrainer”

philosophy. 6 groups from different

First Nations communities are brought

together to attend 4-day training on the topic

of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and sexual health


The most recent installment of this training

took place on Nov 22-25, 2011 in Vancouver,

BC. Communities wishing to participate in

this training submit proposals to ATKT. Once

a community is selected, a team made up of

4 women is invited to participate: 2 women

who are employed within the First Nations

community, such as a Health Director, nurse

or community coordinator, and 2 female

members of the community.

Jesscia Chenery, Community Developer

for ATKT says, “Health workers might have

experience as facilitators but the training

also encourages that community members

are brought in as extra support and the

opportunity to build their skill set.”

The group consisted of 24 women plus

facilitators from Chee Mamuk. The room

was intimate and allowed for easy dialogue

between the different groups. The training

itself provided information on how to

encourage successful community based

sessions, infusing creative cultural activities

and fun team building exercises to ice-break

into challenging sexual health topics.

Jessica Chenery emphasized the importance

of ensuring that teams have the proper

supports to deliver training. “When we do

this training, pulling teams from across the

province, we always let them know about

regional organizations. There’s something

to be said by building relationships with

those localized organizations.”

A great example of a First Nation group

that successfully adapted that aspect into

their training was the Okanagan Health

Hub. Since the Hub already operated at the

community level, it had already established

an effective way to deliver information

to community members and was well

connected to local health organizations and

health service providers.

Vanessa Mitchell, Okanagan Health

Hub Coordinator, described the Hub’s

involvement in the ATKT training. The

Okanagan Health Hub initially contacted

Chee Mamuk about the possibility of having

the training delivered in the Okanagan in

Engagement Hub?

Community Engagement Hubs are groups of

First Nations communities who agree to plan,

collaborate and communicate to meet their

nation’s health priorities. To learn more about

Hubs and watch our documentary, please visit

our website: www.fnhc.ca

Fall of 2010. Chee Mamuk and Okanagan

Health Hub collaborated to share expenses

for this training and were eventually able to

deliver this training in April 11-14th, 2011.

An invitation was also extended to Rhoda

Hallgren, Program Coordinator for the

Okanagan Aboriginal AIDS Society (OAAS).

The inclusion of a regionally based champion

ensured that training participants would

have a localized contact person to follow

up with any questions they might have and

to learn what kind of local supports were


Jessica Chenery commented, “That’s

one of the first times we’ve heard of ATKT

teams using their local organization. I think

it helped having Rhoda [Hallgren] at that

training session, because it allowed the

participants to meet a contact person that

they might not otherwise have called.”

Follow-up training was provided by Chee

Mamuk’s ATKT in the Okanagan in October

of 2011.

Jessica Chenery stated, “It wasn’t just about

going in and getting the training. It was about

doing the follow-up and staying connected to

the teams, and encouraging on-going ATKT

session in their communities. Doing a follow

up session is an excellent way to ensure

that ATKT continues to be delivered.”

>> Tools to talk about

HIV/AIDS with your


Chee Mamuk


Have questions about “Around the Kitchen

Table” training? Email the coordinator at:


Remember to “like” their page on


Search: “Around the Ktichen Table”

Questions? Contact Chee Mamuk at:

604-707-5605 | cheemamuk@bccdc.ca

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 11

Health Human Resources

Aboriginal Patient Liaisons: Becoming

Equipped to Better Serve First Nations

In our last article on Aboriginal Patient Navigators/Liaisons

(APNs/APLs), we looked at the origin of how APNs and APLs and

how they came to exist in British Columbia. This recent edition will

explore what Aboriginal Patient Liaisons need to better represent

and serve their Aboriginal clientele.

The APL training conference took place on November 14-17,

2011 in Vancouver, BC. It gave workers across the province an

opportunity to come together and share their successes and

professional experiences. Not every Aboriginal or First Nations

community has an APN or APL; there are approximately 30

APLs in the province of BC. In the Fraser Health Region,

“One of the key roles of the Aboriginal Liaisons is increasing

understanding of Aboriginal culture among health professionals

who work with Aboriginal clients in Fraser Region” 1 . APLs fill a

gap between health professionals and their clients by educating

and communicating cultural differences that may arise during


“One of the key roles of the Aboriginal

Liaisons is increasing understanding

of Aboriginal culture among health

professionals who work with

Aboriginal clients in Fraser Region”

- Fraser Aboriginal Health in Review 2010-2011

Sometimes misunderstandings occur between the health

system and aboriginal patients which may be caused by a

perpetuation of ongoing stereotypes and a lack of cultural

sensitivity. An informative session offered as part of the APL

training conference was entitled, “Tools for Understanding &

Addressing Institutionalized Racism.” The session, delivered by

Maria Gomes & Cheryl Ward offered self-assessment tools to

discover what kinds of political or cultural “hot-buttons” trigger

emotional responses that were rooted in stress, anxiety or

anger. The group openly discussed situations of institutionalized

racism that they may have experienced in the past and how

they coped and overcame these challenges. One attendee

mentioned the anger they experienced when an Aboriginal

community member in their health region had suffered an

injury from a bicycle accident, paramedics who arrived on the

accident scene assumed the patient was under the influence of

alcohol. Examples such as this inform what kind of tools could

be used to better equip APLs to face challenges in their work

place or community. Cheryl also mentioned her work with the

Indigenous Cultural Competency training, a training program

that can be taken by health workers across the province 2 . APLs

are sometimes asked to offer training or deliver presentations

to bridge a better understanding between health providers and

the surrounding aboriginal community. Through education and

learning to overcome trigger responses or hot-buttons, APLs

are better equipped to communicate cultural misunderstandings

and advise better approaches for patient care.

Over the course of the APL training conference, much of the

gathering was focused on the opportunity to share stories and

dialogue. There are 30 APLs across the province and as the

conference revealed, each health authority has a different

approach to how they can better care for their aboriginal

patients. An example of this would be how Fraser Health not

only employs Aboriginal Health Liaisons but they also have

Aboriginal Mental Health Liaisons to provide service towards

more specific needs. Hearing and sharing information on how

to overcome challenges and better connect existing services is

key for APL’s, so that they may adapt best practices towards

improving health care for their diverse Aboriginal patients.

Above: Taken at the Sts’ailes Telmexw Awtexw (Medicine House)

Graduation Ceremony in late Summer 2011.


Aboriginal Health in Review 2010-2011, http://www.



Indigenous Cultural Competency Training, http://www.


First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 12

Health Human Resources

Better Together Session:

FNHS and Health Canada staff begin meeting, talking,

and sharing the goal of a First Nations Health Authority

The symbol of the “Better Together” session held on

December 13 was two evergreen branches growing

towards each other. After this first opportunity for First

Nations Health Society (FNHS) and Health Canada staff

to meet and engage was over, most would agree that the

two branches did indeed grow closer.

Moderator Dr. Evan Adams set the tone for the fourhour

session by inviting participants to engage with an

open mind. He stressed that what the two staff groups

have in common is a commitment and determination to

improve health services and health outcomes for First

Nations people in BC. He noted that “there is no template

or roadmap” for the work ahead of forming Canada’s

very first First Nations Health Authority, so patience,

understanding and respect is needed by all.

With eloquence and wisdom, Chief Leonard George told

participants: “We as health care people are coming of

age.” Calling on a traditional story of a young couple

facing their coming of age ritual- a test of crossing a fastrunning

stream while carrying a large rock- to reach the

other side, the Chief emphasized that each individual

would need “to put our personal self aside” in order to

reach the collective goal of improving First Nations health

and well-being.

Health Canada’s Regional Director General, Catherine

Lappe, acknowledged the wealth of “wisdom and

experience” in the room, and the 25 years of work that

has taken place to gradually transition health services

to First Nations in BC. But she pointed out that the

progress in health outcomes has not been enough and

that First Nations must be the drivers of health care for

their peoples. “Self-determination is the only way.”

“Let’s do it together and make history,

so that in one generation we will see

significant progress in improving First

Nations health.”

- Grand Chief Doug Kelly

Lappe pointed out one of the key benefits to all those

who choose to work for the First Nations Health Society:

they will focus on community needs and work on the front

line to make meaningful changes.

“Each of us here today has the opportunity to have

a hands-on role in making this happen – the choice is

ours,” she said.

Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair of the First Nations

Health Council did not shy away from the challenge

and considerable expectations facing the First Nations

Health Authority (FNHA). While a majority of the Chiefs

from the 203 communities voted last May in favour of the

Framework Agreement that will lead to the creation of the

FNHA, the Grand Chief was frank about the challenge

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 13

Health Human Resources

“The Tripartite First Nations Health Plan gives us all space to be

innovative for the first time and to make systemic changes.”

- Joe Gallagher, FNHS CEO

the Chiefs have given: “They said if you’re going to do this, you’d

better make it better or don’t bother.”

Speaking to participants, he urged them: “Let’s do it together and

make history, so that in one generation we will see significant

progress in improving First Nations health.”

Following the speakers, participants were given the opportunity to

tackle a specific question in discussion at their tables. This was

a welcome and valuable opportunity for the FNHS and Health

Canada staff who had never met to get to know each other better.

Through the process of answering their assigned questions, they

also discovered that they share a common desire to learn more

about one another and about this significant change.

Participants also had the chance to ask questions of a panel

that included senior management from both organizations: Joe

Gallagher (CEO, First Nations Health Society); Pierre Leduc

(Chair, Board of Directors, First Nations Health Society); Lynn

Bernard (Director General, BC Tripartite Initiative, Health Canada);

Yousuf Ali (Regional Director, FNIH, Health Canada).

“The organization we will build will be nothing like a provincial

health authority or FNIH. It will be much more exciting, creative

and innovative,” said Mr. Gallagher.

The FNHS CEO pointed out that one way of seeing the provincial

health care system, which now takes up more than half of the

provincial budget, is as a “sickness system”. Stressing the need

to change this model for First Nations health care, he said: “The

Tripartite First Nations Health Plan gives us all space to be

innovative for the first time and to make systemic changes.”

The session will be taken on the road in early 2012 so staff in other

parts of the province can engage in the ongoing dialogue about

the transition. Participants at the December 13 session - the first

of more engagement sessions to come - appeared to welcome the

opportunity to meet each other and begin to raise questions and

issues about the change and the opportunity facing all of them.

“I thought it was a really nice day and an important step for the

transition. It was great to meet Health Canada staff face to face,”

said Jean Allbeury, Health Actions Coordinator for the First Nations

Health Society.

“I felt there was a positive atmosphere and an openness from

participants,” said Iryna Dzhyha, Support Analyst with Health

Canada. “It’s good to hear that not only Health Canada staff is

going through a transition and that FNHS staff need our support.”

While all speakers acknowledged that a change of this magnitude

may bring up concerns and fear, they invited participants to

consider what’s on the other side of the change coin – the

opportunity to be creative and innovative that will not only bring

personal growth but will show the way by building something of

deep value for First Nations.

“My own commitment to you is that I will stay in Health Canada

regional office as long as I’m needed, ‘til we finish the work there.

And then I’ll be on honoured to move to the new organization. I

have—I have every faith that the new organization will have the

capacity and the talent to deliver on its mandate right from the

outset. I also believe that it will continuously evolve and improve as

an employer of choice and as a top service delivery organization,”

Yousuf Ali told participants at the session’s close.

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 14

Health Systems

Making the Most of Your Doctor’s Appointment

Submitted by Nathan Teegee ‐ Carrier Sekani Family Services

As part of our integrated Community Wellness Committee

training seminars, I presented a series of documents that

are available on the HealthLink BC website. One of the key

messages given to participants was that “doctors are people

too, they are not perfect and they can make mistakes.”

This is why it is important to give doctors all the relevant

information they need to make the right medical decisions.

What are the symptoms? Does it run in the family? How

long have they been there? Are you on any medications?

Making sure that your doctor has all the information is not

only helpful for them, but can also help you learn about

your health. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions!

On the HealthLink BC site, there are a number of great

resources to help you or your community health staff in

assisting community members with their doctors visit.

These documents could be most useful for elders and

those that are either hard of hearing or need assistance

with English. These include handouts entitled “Your First

Visit”, “Follow-Up Visit”, “Treatment Plan”, and “Your Family

Medical History”.

“Your First Visit” - this form helps you track your

problem, the symptoms, changes in your routine that

should be noted, your immunization history, recent and

past hospitalizations, allergies and family history. A copy of

this should be kept for all visits, especially when seeing a

new doctor, or doctors that rotate through your community.

“Follow Up Visit” - this form answers questions

regarding your follow-up visit, lets you prepare questions

that you may have for the doctor that you might otherwise

forget to ask. Are there any new symptoms? Any issues

with your treatment or medications? Are there alternative


“Treatment Plan” - this form will assist patients with

writing down all information relevant to the treatment plan

for their diagnosis, what the side effects may be, how to

take the medication and what activities you may or may not

participate in.

“Your Family Medical History” - this is a very

informative and important document. It can be used as an

exercise that you and your family can work on together to

get all the necessary information down. All the historical

information will give the doctor information about your

family’s genetics and will be used to guide preventative

medicine and educational efforts. (Cancer and Diabetes

are some examples that you should look for within the

family line.)

Lastly, at our training session, we discussed the possibility

of having a doctor that discriminates or acts in a manner

that warrants a complaint. We have all probably heard

about one horrible experience at a clinic or hospital in

our life time, but have never acted or complained about

them formally. First Nations people have been oppressed

for years, and so we sometimes forget that we too have

the right to complain about sub-standard care. The BC

College of Physicians and Surgeons, is the correct

body to lodge a formal complaint against a doctor.

Their Complaint Form can be located at:


Combined, these forms and the information on them can

help guide doctor and patient to come to an informed

decision. They also allow for tracking and keeping

personal histories on medical issues that come up over

the years. Remember to be assertive, become informed

and actively participate in your health and the decisions

regarding it. It may also be useful for Community Health

Resources (CHRs) or other supportive staff to assist

members in clearly writing down symptoms, when they

started, what medications they are on, questions they

have for the doctor (so they do not forget), and these

forms are very helpful in doing this. With strict Non-

Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) policies regarding

escorts and assistants, CHRs are unable to assist in

community members appointments out-of-community,

so these forms will become handy in these situations.

aBe assertive!

aBecome informed!

aActively participate!


First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 15

Health Systems

Announcing: 2012 Video Contest

“Safer Nations - Injury Prevention”

The First Nations Health Society (FNHS) is excited to

announce their new video contest for 2012 entitled “Safer

Nations – Injury Prevention”. Building on the success of last

year’s “Active Spirit, Active History” video contest, the FNHS is

asking B.C. First Nations to get creative and inspire messages

that promote injury prevention!

We want to know what kind of messages can help educate our

people on injury prevention to create safer communities.

The “Safer Nations - Injury Prevention” video contest is a way to promote positive

engagement with B.C. First Nations to raise awareness on the topic of injury prevention.

Questions? Email Karlene at info@fnhc.ca


$10,000 worth of prizes will be awarded

through this competition.

• The first place winner will receive $5,000.

• The second place winner will receive $2,500.

• The third place winner will receive $1,000.

• An Honourable Mention winner will receive $500.

• The Audience Choice Prize winner will receive $1,000.

The First Nations Health Society 2012 Video Contest:

“Safer Nations - Injury Prevention”

$10,000 in


Visit Us Online

For More





APRIL 27, 2012

First Nations Health Council | January 2012 Infobulletin | Page 16

First Nations Health Society Update

Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council

2011 was a very successful and exciting year

for the Partners Council. This past summer,

the Partners Council launched the first ever

BC Aboriginal Provincial Championships

and Sport Development Camps that are

now being delivered in communities across

the province. With 12 events held to date,

these series of events continue to be

by the BC Ministry of Health’s Aboriginal

Healthy Living Branch. Recently, over 200

representatives from approximately 156

communities and organizations took part in

the Aboriginal RunWalk Leader & Community

Coordinator Training Workshops delivered in

each of the Partners Council’s six regions.

These newly trained RunWalk Leaders and

“Thank you for the work you put into the Community Coordinator

and WalkRun Leader Training in Vancouver. I found the

two days to be truly rewarding not only for the wealth of

information that was shared and presented; but also for the

opportunity to simply be in a room with so many like-minded

individuals. I was able to connect with some really great people.”

- Courtenay Gibson, Recreation Coordinator, Musqueam Indian Band

Partners Council’s commitment to regional

engagement has been a distinguishing factor

of its Provincial Strategy. Through the ongoing

support of its founding partners – The First

Nations Health Council, the BC Association

of Aboriginal Friendship Centers, and Métis

Nation BC, the Partners Council continues

to build meaningful relationships that reduce

barriers and increase opportunities for First

Nations people throughout the Province.

delivered in various communities across

the province. These events not only support

the development of Aboriginal athletes

and coaches, but they also support the

Partners Council’s commitment to establish

a comprehensive and well-coordinated

Aboriginal Team BC program that will lead

to increased participation in competitive

programs and better prepared athletes

and coaches for future North American

Indigenous Games (NAIG) and other elite


Also in 2011, the Partners Council was

chosen to serve as the administrative body

of the Aboriginal Healthy Living Activities – a

series of community based physical activity

and health promotion programs funded

Community Coordinators are now eligible to

receive small grants to deliver community

projects that promote healthy living in areas

of healthy eating, increased physical activity

and reduction of tobacco misuse.

Another landmark initiative for the Partners

Council was the hiring of six Regional Sport

and Physical Activity Coordinators, which

fulfills one of the core priorities established

within the Partners Council’s Aboriginal

Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity

Strategy. The primary role of the Regional

Coordinators is to plan, coordinate and

administer regional programs that advance

the Action Plan developed by the Partners

Council’s Regional Committees. The

>> To learn more about the various

programs being delivered by the Partners

Council, please contact the Regional

Sport and Physical Activity Coordinator in

your region.

Partners Council Regional Sport and Physical Activity Coordinators

Name Region Phone Email Fax

Kim Leming Vancouver Island 250.338.7793 ext. 223 kleming@bcaafc.com 250.338.7287

Roberta Genesius Fraser 778.395.0385 rgenesius@ bcaafc.com 604.581.0944

Pamela Baker Vancouver Coastal 778.385.1056 pbaker@bcaafc.com 250.388.5502

Kristy Auger Northeast 250.785.8566 kauger@bcaafc.com 250.785.1507

Bernard Manuel Interior 250.378.5107 ext. 8520 bmanuel@bcaafc.com 250.378.6676

Karen Nyce Northwest 250.847.5211 knyce@bcaafc.com 250.847.5144

The FNHC Infobulletin is published quarterly and reaches all 203 First Nations communities in BC.

The Infobulletin is also sent to our government partners, non-profits and other subscription holders.

Total hardcopy circulation of the Infobulletin has reached 2000 copies. If you’d like to learn more

about the infobulletin, please email First Nations Health Society’s Communications Officer, Karlene

Harvey at kharvey@fnhc.ca

For additional information on all the mentioned

activities and more, please visit our website at


Council or find us on Facebook.

Contact Us

email: info@fnhc.ca

web: http://www.fnhc.ca

First Nations Health Council

1205-100 Park Royal South

West Vancouver, BC


Telephone: (604) 913.2080

This infobulletin is a

publication of the

First Nations Health Council.

All rights reserved.

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