Aboriginal health

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Patient-centred care in mental health and substance use

"There are only so many ways to fix a broken leg," says Debi Morris. "But if you have five patients with a mood disorder, there will be so many ways you will approach treatment." For Debi, the field of Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) is fascinating, in part, because care and treatment needs to…

TagsCommunity & Culture

Interior Voices invites you to pull up a chair

When Vanessa, Kris, Sheila, and Beth met as a working group for the first time, something just clicked. “We found that we worked really well together,” explains Aboriginal health lead Kris Murray. “We had great chemistry, we got a lot done, and there was a lot of laughter.” Each woman brought her unique lived experience…