The Haida Health Hub: reclaiming wellness ‘the Haida way’

  • Sep. 13, 2010 1:00 p.m.

Submitted by Patricia Greer-Exciting and empowering times are coming to British Columbian First Nations People in regards to health care services and programs.On June 11, 2007, a historical and groundbreaking event took place between the First Nation’s Leadership Council, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia, the signing of the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan (the Health Plan).Its goal, a First Nations Health Authority which will deliver programs designed to meet the health needs of BC First Nations people. The health plan, when implemented, will put control of First Nations health care in the hands of First Nations people. Priority areas involve the integration of traditional medicine and traditional and holistic methods of healing into First Nation health care services and programs. The vision is healthy, self-determining and vibrant BC First Nations children, families and communities. One of the exciting features of the health plan is that it creates space for First Nations communities to take greater control over their own health services. This is being achieved through the creation of community engaged hubs. Community engagement hubs are groups of First Nations communities who agree to plan, collaborate, and communicate to meet their nation’s health priorities. The Haida Health Hub is a community engaged hub recently formed between the health care providers of Old Massett and Skidegate. Our goal is to create a strategic wellness plan that will improve the health outcomes of the Haida and the First Nation people residing on Haida Gwaii. Our focus is on mental, elder and youth wellness.The strategic wellness plan we envision will build on the strengths of the communities of Old Massett and Skidegate: the elders, the family values, the social connections and the Haida culture. The plan will be developed utilizing past community consultation processes and through the means of an intensive community engaged process over the next nine months.Mental, elder and youth wellness planning processes are being planned to take place from October to January. In February and March, Haida Health Hub Staff will be going door to door in Skidegate and Old Massett, as well as setting up a table at the two Co-ops, to gather community feedback on the outcomes of these processes. In April 2011, the wellness planning processes will be finalized and in May, community celebration gatherings in both communities will be held to present the final strategic wellness plan.All First Nations across Canada are watching closely the tripartite First Nation Health Plan Agreement being led by BC First Nations people. Be a participant and take ownership in this very exciting, historical and groundbreaking initiative! It is your health and the health of your community. The Haida Health Hub is also currently hosting a logo contest with a $500 prize. Deadline for entries is Oct. 29. Call Patricia at 250-626-7511 to find out more about participating in the mental, elder and youth wellness planning processes and for information with regards to our logo contest.