Indigenous Health highlights


Each week, the Indigenous Health department highlights good news stories from the North and from across the country.

Mobile Health Unit bridges gap between health care services and most vulnerable in Campbell River

Since 2020, the Mobile Outreach Unit for Health and Support Services (MOUSS) has had significant positive impacts within the community of Campbell River.

The mobile unit focuses on the downtown area of Campbell River and visits specific locations three times a week.

This mobile health unit helps to bridge service gaps and aims to increase accessibility to health care services for vulnerable populations. This is especially important for individuals who have experienced trauma when accessing traditional health system services.

Learn more about the Mobile Outreach Unit for Health and Support Services and watch a short informational video on the FNHA website.

Improving access to overdose prevention services - Fort St. John

Northern Health has partnered with the First Nations Health Authority in Fort St John to support people who use substances in an effort to help prevent toxic drug poisoning and overdose deaths. Northern Heath and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions have implemented this partnership through joint start up funding totaling $142,000 as part of the Government of BC’s 2021 announcement to expand overdose prevention services.

This mobile overdose prevention program is comprised of a customized van and insulted tent that together provide services at key downtown locations.

Julie Morrison FNHA Regional Vice-President said, "This is a culturally safe initiative that meets vulnerable populations where they are at. It is vital we do everything we can for our people as BC First Nations are dying from toxic drug overdoses at five times the rate of the rest of the population."

Read the full release of the NH Story Site.

UNBC researchers say climate change is impacting Indigenous Peoples’ health

The close connections to the land by all Indigenous communities across Canada are being especially affected by the climate change that has been occurring. The National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (NCCIH) housed at UNBC has contributed research on these impacts. Research on how climate change impacts Indigenous Health.

Dr. Margo Greenwood NCCIH academic lead identifies that “Climate change highlights and adds to existing inequities. In this time of climate crisis, we must change our relationships so that we are not destroying the earth and all its ecosystems. We know that what we do to the land, we do to ourselves.”

NCCIH manager Donna Atkinson also notes, “Indigenous Peoples have been observing and adapting to changing environments since time immemorial. However, with mounting hazards such as major fires and floods, we are seeing that evacuation and dislocation have profound impacts on Indigenous Peoples — amplifying the ongoing displacement of colonization. We have to learn to do things better.”

Read more about this research on the Prince George Citizen website.

Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre uses pandemic closure to digitize collection

Dene Sinclair, a consultant to the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Center and member of the Peguis First Nation, has secured funding for the Center to digitalize its vast collection which consists of Indigenous cultural artifacts, photographs, audio, and video recordings. The Centre also offers Indigenous language programming. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Centre has transitioned to offering online language classes which has increased new student enrollment.

Read more about this special project and the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre on CBC Indigenous.