Indigenous peoples is a collective term that is inclusive of First Nations, Métis and Inuit. We acknowledge and celebrate the diversity both between and within these groups. Each of these groups has many unique histories, relationships, geographies, cultures, practices, languages, and interests. We strive to be mindful and respectful of this diversity.
Inclusion and participation by Indigenous peoples helps to build a health care system that better meets the needs of the people and communities we serve.
The health system is primarily based on western world-views and highlights scientific knowledge, which is rooted in rationality and observation. Indigenous knowledge(s) are commonly understood by many as being relational, interconnected, intergenerational, and holistic (reference). Incorporating Indigenous knowledge(s) and holistic approaches supports a culturally safe health system for Indigenous people.
The context of Indigenous peoples' health and wellness is complex with many stakeholders. It requires working together to make positive change. We recognize this and work to facilitate and support partnerships and collaborations between communities, organizations and sectors. We also recognize that building capacity both within and outside of Northern Health is important.
We make sure that the initiatives and activities we undertake are informed by Indigenous people living in northern BC. We seek input in a variety of ways, including through Aboriginal Health Improvement Committee meetings and gatherings, the Northern First Nations Health Partnership Committee, and evaluations of our programs and initiatives.
Communities are rich in strengths and gifts and we strive to support and build on these. For example, we support Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees to develop local cultural resources that highlight their strengths, perspectives and knowledges. We fund a number of community granting streams that support communities to identify their priorities and undertake initiatives.