Indigenous Health Care

Cree_Vision

Niigaanaabwin.
Ezhi gshkitoong go waani zhi mino yang naadgo wendming pii ndo wendaagog.

Overview

The NE LHIN continues to work in partnership to advance Indigenous health initiatives that help to increase access and improve coordination of health programs and services for Indigenous Northerners.

Every year, the NE LHIN invests over $39 million to support front-line health care delivery to Indigenous people living in Northeastern Ontario.

Over the past 10 years, the NE LHIN has engaged with hundreds of Indigenous leadership, communities and health services providers. The outcomes of these engagements are reflected in the LHIN’s priorities in strengthening the system of care for people living in Northeastern Ontario.

The NE LHIN relies on the expertise of its Local Aboriginal Health Committee (LAHC) to guide its work to better meet the health care needs of Indigenous Northerners. LAHC is comprised of senior representatives of Indigenous health care organizations across the region.  It advises the LHIN Board of Directors on health service priorities, opportunities for engagement, and better coordination of services within Indigenous urban and rural communities.  

Indigenous Population within the region

The Indigenous diversity within the NE LHIN is comprised of Cree, Ojibwa, Odawa, Algonquin and Métis identified cultural groups – representing approximately 11% of the total population in Northeastern Ontario.

In general, Indigenous people experience a lower health status than other Northerners.  The primary health conditions experienced by Indigenous Northerners, includes:

  • Higher rates of medically complex chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and mental health disorders.
  • Physical aging at a younger age due to multiple chronic conditions.
  • Higher cases amongst Indigenous youth of mental health issues, chronic illnesses and poor oral health.
  • High rates of suicide and suicide ideation.
  • Indigenous people are over-represented as clients in addiction services across Northeastern Ontario.

North East LHIN Aboriginal Health Care Reconciliation Action Plan

On September 21, 2016, the NE LHIN and the LAHC launched the North East LHIN Aboriginal Health Care Reconciliation Action Plan.

This plan is an important first step in a journey to build a stronger system of care that will address the profound inequities in health for Indigenous Northerners – a plan that was created in the spirit of reconciliation, mutual understanding and respect.

The plan encompasses four main strategic directions -- Opportunities (East); Relationships (South); Knowledge and Understanding (West); and Sustainability and Evaluation (North). The plan will be implemented using the Medicine Wheel as a guide – a widely recognized approach that represents wholeness, balance and interconnectedness. Each strategic direction plays an integral role in the success of this plan.

The North East LHIN will work with partners to implement this plan and continue to close the disparity gap in the health and wellness of Indigenous Northerners.

Indigenous Cultural Safety

The North East LHIN has focused on increasing training opportunities for health service providers across the region. This is needed within the health and mental health system to bring to light service provider bias and colonization legacies that continue to affect service accessibility and health outcomes for Indigenous people.

In support of this, the North East LHIN periodically funds a limited number of seats for LHIN-funded providers to complete online Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) training.

If you are a LHIN-funded provider interested in learning more about ICS training, please contact Darlene Orton (contact information, below).

Cultural Mindfulness Training

Health Service Providers in Northeastern Ontario are welcomed to join our learning sessions to share knowledge and understanding to work together towards a journey of reconciliation. Together, we will learn about Indigenous culture, history and celebration. 

George Couchie, member of Nipissing First Nation and Cultural Teacher, guides learners in a sessional format to include a learning circle where participants will explore Indigenous ways of knowing, culture, histories and perspective.  This includes the Seven Grandfather Teachings, Medicine Wheel Teachings, Smudging and Language. Participants will learn about colonization, the effects of residential schools and best practices moving forward to guide their work with Indigenous people on a path of local reconciliation. 

If you are a LHIN-funded provider interested in learning more about Cultural Mindfulness Training, please contact Darlene Orton (contact information, below).

For More Information

Contact Darlene Orton, Indigenous Officer

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