Aboriginal health

TagsResearch & Innovation

Indigenous nurse research transforms health care

When you think of the nursing profession, chances are you think of nurses on the front-line administering care to patients. But nurses have another important role in the transformation of health care—as researchers. In 2019, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) School of Nursing, with support from Interior Health was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health…

TagsHealth & Wellness

Food as medicine

Several years ago, Donna Koenig, Food Services Manager for South Okanagan General Hospital, attended a national Indigenous nutrition event at Six Nations in northern Ontario. "There were Elders there from all across Canada--including the Yukon and the Northwest Territories--and it was all about the stories and learning why food is considered to be medicine--and the…

TagsCommunity & Culture

Remembering Mollie Bono

As the work of Interior Health's Journey to Aboriginal Cultural Safety & Humility team expanded over the last few years, program manager Vanessa Mitchell looked to Nation Elders for guidance. One of the Elders who helped shape this important work was Mollie Bono. "We had the great pleasure and privilege to work with Mollie as…

TagsCommunity & Culture

Improving health outcomes for Aboriginal peoples

Dr. Sean Wachtel admits he was surprised – and unpleasantly so – at what he found when he arrived in Canada to begin practicing medicine a decade ago. After coming from the United Kingdom, he began working in the emergency room at Nelson’s Kootenay Lake Hospital. The last thing he expected was to be confronted…

TagsHealth & Wellness

In this together: Protecting knowledge keepers

In This Together is a series dedicated to the stories of people contributing to our COVID-19 response. The following story is an account from Spotted Fawn Minnabarriet, a public health nurse with Interior Health. S7entsa Spotted Fawn Minnabarriet, squza7sa s7 Eleanor Wells muta7 Larry Gordon,  Lilwat7ulmeckan, muta7 St’at’imc (My name is Spotted Fawn Minnabarriet of…

TagsHealth & Wellness

Conversations about Aboriginal health and wellness

Last year saw the launch of an investigation into Indigenous-specific racism in the B.C. health-care system, bringing new focus on Aboriginal health and wellness. As health-care providers look to implement the In Plain Sight Report recommendations, the Interior Voices podcast provides resources for improving culturally-safe care. Launched in 2019, the Interior Voices podcast is an informal, ongoing conversation around cultural safety…

TagsHealth & Wellness

Creating Welcoming Spaces

When people feel comfortable in a space, they are more likely to visit. With this in mind, the Aboriginal Mental Wellness team has been looking at ways to make spaces that provide mental health and substance use services more welcoming and culturally safe. Conversations with Aboriginal partners, clients, families, and care providers have shown us…

TagsCommunity & Culture

A bridge to action

One day on a walk with my daughter and our dog in my hometown of Princeton, we stopped to look at our local “Bridge of Dreams”. While standing there, my daughter pointed to graffiti done with a black sharpie on the bridge and asked me what it meant. There were racist, sexist and homophobic slurs…

TagsHealth & Wellness

Empowering people to share and heal from trauma

    The harm experienced by Aboriginal peoples did not stop when the last residential school closed its doors in 1996. The effects of this policy are still felt today and are also inter-generational. Trauma-informed practice is an important tool in providing culturally safe health care to patients and clients who may be experiencing the…