Northern Health’s Aboriginal Health Initiative Program (AHIP) is a granting program that began in 2002. Through these short-term grants, we support First Nations and Aboriginal communities and organizations in their work of improving health for First Nations and Aboriginal people.
The Aama Goot Women’s Wellness Program, run by Carol Azak out of the Friendship House in Prince Rupert, is one such project that has been supported by an AHIP grant. Thirty four women meet weekly and work on designing a mural using house crests, buttons, and colours to tell a story about their family structure. Some of the women also help with the Power Puff girls’ group, where 32 girls aged 7 to 12 years old meet weekly to design their own family mural and do other crafts.
Participants also help prepare healthy snacks, build friendships, and support each other, developing these activities and skills to use at home with their family and friends too. In addition to weekly events, 12 women graduated from an anger management program which was delivered in partnership with the Friendship House alcohol and drug counsellor and Northern Health’s mental health program. Through the Aama Goot program, Carol also makes referrals to other community resources and assists family members as needed with filling out forms and writing letters.
Image: Carol Azak, Friendship House, Prince Rupert. This article was originally printed in the August 2014 edition of Northern Health’s A Healthier You magazine.