In 2005, Northern Health initiated several Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs) that bring together local health leaders and community members from diverse sectors across the north. Together, AHIC members work collaboratively on local priorities to improve the health and well-being of First Nations and Aboriginal people, families and communities.
The second annual Gathering of AHICs took place this autumn on September 22-23 in Prince George. It brought together AHIC members with representatives from Northern Health and the First Nations Health Authority.
This gathering was held to provide opportunities for AHIC members to celebrate their accomplishments, explore innovative solutions, learn more about networking and team building, vision for the coming year, and strengthen relationships and partnerships.
AHIC members shared their successes, experiences, new ideas and strategies from the 2014-2015 Mapping and Cultural Resource Development initiatives. The outcomes of these initiatives are summarized in a mapping report and a cultural resource booklet.
At the gathering, AHICs worked together to create a visual representation of their allies, relationships and resources in their networks that they can rely on to work toward making their visions a reality for their regions. Knowing “we are not alone” in this integral work is important to sustain energy and momentum in our groups and communities (see image left for the network made by the Northeast AHIC).
To build on these incredible successes, a new Critical Action Planning initiative was announced for 2015-2016, with resources committed to implementing some of the new strategies and tools to address challenges identified by AHICs in their maps and resulting action plans. These are local strategies for local issues, building on the strengths of local communities, organizations and health teams.
Photo credit: Spider web network made by the Northeast AHIC.