Indigenous Health highlights


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

BC First Nation moving ahead with off-reserve Indigenous-led health care centre   

As part of a reconciliation agreement between the BC government and the Sts’ailes First Nation, the First Nation is moving forward with plans to build an off-reserve Indigenous-led primary health care centre to serve both Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients.

The project will include $2.5 million to help purchase land for the site, which will be located in Harrison Mills, adjacent to Highway 7.

Sts’ailes Chief Ralph Leon told Global News, “This is setting the tone for our people in so many ways.”

This story can be found on the Global News Website

‘The idea is to send a message’: Indigenous artist gets first look at his design on new BC Ferries vessel

Maynard Johnny Jr., a Penelakut First Nation artist, designed a Salish Heron for BC Ferries. The Salish Heron design started out as a six-inch by two-inch sketch and is now the length of a seven-story building laid on its side and wraps the hull of the vessel.

The message that Johnny Jr. wishes to send to the people of British Columbia and the world is that Indigenous People have been here since time immemorial.

“I’m hoping that my daughter and grandchildren will see the Salish Heron and know that you can achieve something special when you put your mind to it,” says Johnny Jr.

To see the colorful design of the newest Salish Class vessel, visit the Chek Watch Local Website .

Elder in Alberta returns to school to get her diploma

Edna Rain, an Elder from Wabamun Lake Treaty 6 Territory west of Edmonton, says that her son convinced her to go back to school to get her high school diploma at the Norquest College in Edmonton.

Rain immediately encountered a barrier when she started in January 2022  because she had never previously used a computer. However, “once she understood computers, she began to do very well in class,” said her math teacher, Wes Janke.

Rain is taking her time to finish school with no pre-determined end date.

Watch Rain’s video interview from APTN National News

BC Child and Family Service Legislative Reform

To improve services for all children and families, the BC Government is reforming child and family service legislation. The changes will also aim to offer greater support for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including Indigenous Governments.

The goals of the new initiative are:

  • Changing the current legislative model to one that promotes prevention supports and keeps children within their families, communities, and cultures;
  • Aligning child and family service legislation with the federal Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth and families (Federal Act) and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act); and
  • Pursuing both short-term and longer-term legislative amendments to support systemic transformation.

Engagement Timeline: April 2 – June 24, 2022 at 4 pm.

Learn more about this project and how to participate on the Government of BC website .