Indigenous Health Highlights

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

Indigenous knowledge can help address wildfire emergencies: UBC study

A recent study from University of British Columbia called "The Right to Burn" examines Indigenous use of fire in forest management practices and the need for integration into the western approach to these practices. This research was supported by funds from multiple sources including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council, National Geographic Early Career Grant, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, BC Wildfire Service, and the Canadian Wildfire Service. The study highlights structural barriers in the way of incorporating long-held Indigenous knowledge into western practices (i.e. requiring in-depth burn plans in order to obtain a burning permit.)

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip highlights the need for Indigenous inclusion in wildfire management, "We have Indigenous traditional knowledge of the land and the wind patterns and so on and so forth, so our people have got to be centrally involved in the entire issue of wildfires."

Read the full article from CTV Vancouver.

Hundreds of acres of land transferred from Province to Haisla Nation

Two parcels of land totalling nearly 300 acres have been transferred from the Province of British Columbia to the Haisla Nation. This transfer of land was first requested in 1949 and was made possible by an Incremental Treaty Agreement (Incremental Treaty Agreements aim to advance treaty-related benefits prior to a final treaty agreement).

Chief Councillor Crystal Smith recognized leaders who came before, "We salute the generations of Haisla Nation leaders who persisted over the last 70 years to advance this important addition to reserve. We thank both British Columbia and Canada for helping us to achieve this significant milestone."

Learn more about this historic event from Indigenous Services Canada.

Nursing researchers awarded grant to integrate Indigenous knowledge in nursing education

Researchers from six universities in BC will share a $683,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to integrate local Indigenous knowledge into graduate nursing education. Led by Dr. Lisa Bourque Bearskin (Thompson Rivers University) and Dr. Donna Kurtz (UBC Okanagan), the team of researchers will work alongside graduate nursing students to develop, monitor, and evaluate areas such as curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, and placements in Indigenous communities.

Jackie Denison, Acting Director of the UBC Okanagan School of Nursing, highlights the benefits of this research and collaboration, ““This important project will provide an opportunity for a truly Indigenous focused education program, which will enhance the navigation of graduate studies for Indigenous nurses. Students will experience a strength-based indigenized curriculum, learning from communities across the Province of British Columbia. This educational program is pivotal in transforming nursing practice and nursing knowledge.”

Learn more about this inspiring research from Castanet Kelowna.