Indigenous Health highlights


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

COVID-19 restrictions in BC eased but masks, vaccine cards essential

The COVID -19 pandemic and associated required restrictions have been challenging for many. Restrictions have had significant impacts on Indigenous (i.e., First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) communities. Updates and changes to COVID-19 restrictions in BC came into effect February 17, 2022 and it is important to have access to current information.

The British Columbia government has created an easy-to-read infographic which presents which restrictions are changing and which remain.

Read more about updates to BC’s COVID-19 public health measures on FNHA’s website.

Manitoba Métis beader heading to Paris Fashion Week

Beadwork artist Jessie Pruden and her brother Noel Pruden from Winnipeg, MB were discovered by the scouting team of Flying Solo, a New York-based fashion retailer. Subsequently Jessie has been invited to attend the Paris fashion week with her beaded earring designs.

Jessie started her own business called Bead n’ Butter during the pandemic and did not expect her new business would take her to Paris.

Elizabeth Solommeina, Managing Director of Flying Solo, who will display Jessie’s designs during Paris Fashion Week February 28 – March 8, 2022 noted that, "What we look for is a unique point of view, something that we haven't seen before on the market, something that will definitely stand out on the model walking. We definitely noticed right away there's a lot of love and work that goes into every single piece."

Read the full story from CBC Indigenous.

Indigenous Education

The Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) has committed to a cross-country review of review of how school boards across Canada are structured to ensure its Charter of Commitment is being upheld. The intent of this Charter is to ensure First Nations, Métis, and Inuit identities, cultures, languages, values, ways of knowing, and knowledge systems will flourish in Canadian schools.

The CSBA has been in partnership with the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation so efforts are aligned in education through a more equitable funding system for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.

To assist in raising awareness of this work the Assembly of First Nations have developed a toolkit for educators. This toolkit can be used in classrooms to help teach history and different cultural perspectives.

Read more about the CSBA Charter of Commitment on their website.

New Wordle clone contributes to revitalization of Gitxsan Nation's language

Gitxsan Hereditary Chief, Sim'oo'git Geel (Catherine Blackstock), in collaboration with other Gitxsan leaders, have found an engaging way to revitalize an Indigenous language. This group has created an interactive word platform in Gitxsan based on the popular Wordle game. Aidan Pine, a Victoria, B.C.-based linguist has helped the group develop word variations just like the popular Wordle game.

Chief Geel enjoys the challenge as she is slowly building on her own vocabulary: "We talk about the colonization of the land, the language is one of the things that was taken away — there's a reason why we don't speak it fluently," she said.

Read about this engaging and creative work to revitalize indigenous languages from CBC British Columbia.

BC First Nations case study “Remembering Keegan” released

First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has released a report titled, Remembering Keegan – a BC First Nations Case Study Reflection. Keegan Combes, who the report is named after, was a 29-year old First Nations man who died in hospital in 2015 following a delayed diagnosis.

The report is meant to be a tool to help guide and inform system change and to also support the establishment of a cultural safety standard within BC’s health care system. The report provides a look into the different paths supporting culturally safe care. This case study reflection also provides information on clear examples of what cultural safety and humility should look like and how these clear examples mentioned in the report could have contributed to a different outcome for Keegan.

Lean more and download the full report on FNHA’s website.