HEALTH SECRETARIAT OVERVIEW

INDIGENOUS HEALING AND WELLNESS STRATEGY (IHWS)

The Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy (IHWS), originally called the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, is a policy and service initiative that brings together Indigenous people and the Government of Ontario in a unique partnership to promote health and healing among Indigenous people.  In 1994, Indigenous organizations and the government ministries that developed this Strategy expressed a commitment to combat the alarming conditions of poor health and family violence that Indigenous People in Ontario have endured.

In 2018, there was a name change from the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy to the Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy (IHWS). The  Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy promotes health and wellness in First Nations/Indigenous communities.  The Strategy combines traditional culturally appropriate programs and services and mainstream programming  and services to help improve healing, health and wellness to reduce family violence and violence against Indigenous women and children.  The original logo will continue to be used, despite the name change.

INDIGENOUS HEALING AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS

The Anishinabek Nation (AN) is one of the 15 partners within Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy.  The Anishinabek Nation administers programs funded by IHWS.  The Anishinabek Nation respects the autonomy of each First Nation and each program is governed by the First Nation while meeting the program and service requirements as established by IHWS and overseen by the Anishinabek Nation through the Health Department Director.  In addition to the programs and services listed below, often there are one-time grant opportunities that arise and the Union of Ontario Indians Health Secretariat strives to ensure that our First Nations have access to and participate in these initiatives.

Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy Indigenous Partners:

  • Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
  • Grand Council Treaty #3
  • Métis Nation of Ontario
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  • Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
  • Ontario Native Women’s Association
  • Anishinabek Nation
  • Bkejwanong Territory (Ojibways of Walpole First Nation)
  • Chippewas of Nawash First Nation
  • Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation
  • Garden River First Nation
  • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
  • Shawanaga First Nation
  • Six Nations of the Grand River
  • Temagami First Nation

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT PROGRAM

The AN/UOI Health Secretariat provides assistance to it member First Nations and their respective IHWS programs. The IHWS Community Development Support Worker works with First Nations to help implement and manage their IHWS programs and projects which are  funded under the IHWS.  The Community Development Support Worker manages the files of the Community Wellness Worker, and the Mental Health Demonstration Project files.

COMMUNITY WELLNESS WORKERS

The Community Wellness Workers work with individuals and families within their respective  First Nation providing  services or access to services, through services, including: provide family violence services, referrals, support and case management to clients to address/respond to existing and emerging health, healing and wellness issues, or violent situations.

There is one Community Wellness Worker in each First Nation within the AN.

In addition to providing support for the IHWS funded programs, the AN. Health Secretariat also provides the same service for other programs administered by the AN including the Diabetes Education Program funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and the Aboriginal Responsible Gambling Program funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion.

HEALING LODGES

These facilities offer Traditional Aboriginal healing and contemporary approaches to treatment of sexual assault, addictions and family dysfunction, etc.  Options include both residential and outpatient programming.

UOI works in partnership with Kii Kee Wan Nii Kaan (Southwest Regional Healing Lodge), which is located on Munsee Delaware Nation in southern Ontario.  More detailed information regarding their services can be found at www.swrhl.ca

HEALTHY BABIES HEALTHY CHILDREN PROGRAM

The objective of Aboriginal Healthy Babies/Healthy Children (AHBHC) Program is to improve the long-term health prospects of children aged 0 – 6 years.  The program includes pre-and post-natal screening and assessment, home visiting, service co-ordination and support for service integration.

AHBHC program is voluntary and open to any Aboriginal family that requests the service. Aboriginal families may also access the provincial program via the local public health unit.

Each First Nation within the Anishinabek Nation participates in and/or offers the AHBHC program.  There are projects sites including Dilico Child and Family Services and Mnaamodzawin Health Services.

HIV

ANISHINABEK NATION HIV PROGRAM

The Anishinabek Nation HIV program serves all member Anishinabek First Nations by offering resources to equip community members living positively or affected by HIV with necessary information. The program offers:

  • HIV/ Hepatitis C /Sexually Transmitted Blood Borne Infections (STBBI)  Capacity development for frontline workers
  • Advocacy and support for Anishinabek Nation citizens who are living with or affected by HIV or Hepatitis C
  • HIV, Hepatitis C, STBBI education and resources
  • Free Harm Reduction resources
  • An annual HIV conference
  • Public education at major gatherings
  • Skill-building sessions for positive people using Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and/or Aids/Meaningful Engagement of People Living with HIV and/or Aids principles
  • Traditional teaching sessions

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that can be contracted from having unprotected sex, injection drug use, or during birth. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) describes the disease when it has reached the advanced stage, often from not taking medication. For those with a new diagnosis of HIV, it is important to know that it is not a death sentence. In fact, HIV-positive people taking medication regularly are living happy, normal lives.

HIV Testing

HIV ANTI-STIGMA CAMPAIGN

In November 2020, the Anishinabek Nation HIV Program created 4 mini documentaries as part of an Anti-Stigma campaign to reduce the harmful effects of discrimination towards individuals living with HIV. The videos focus on de-stigmatizing HIV by using the stories of real people and their experiences.

Nipissing First Nation End the Stigma Campaign

HIV Anti-Stigma Poster Campaign

2SLGBTQ+ Resources:

Harm Reduction:


FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD)

In 2002, the Union of Ontario Indians received funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to launch a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Program (FASD). The FASD team consists of four program developer / trainers, who provide service to the 39 member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation.

OUR LOGO

As Anishinabe people, we believe that our children are the heart of our nations and the carriers of our dreams and aspirations for the future.  Every child has a gift and is considered sacred.  It is our responsibility to nurture and protect them so that they may fulfill the path laid out for them by the Creator.

The vision for the FASD Program Logo came from our former SE/SW Regional Program Worker: Heather Ireland. She dedicated it to her first grandchild, whose journey along the eastern doorway inspired the dream.

The Role of the FASD Team

  • To increase the general level of awareness and knowledge of First Nation community members about FASD, and to foster community ownership and action around the issue.
  • To equip First Nation front-line workers with the necessary tools to holistically address the issue of FASD at the community level.

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)?

FASD is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms and disabilities caused by the drinking of alcohol during pregnancy.

What do I need to know?

  •  When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, her unborn baby drinks alcohol too.
  • FASD can cause permanent mental and physical damage to a baby.
  • It is not safe to drink any amount of alcohol, at any time during pregnancy.

Alcohol can affect the development of an unborn baby as early as the first week of pregnancy.

What do we offer?

Our unique and culturally based programs are designed to help First Nation communities meet the needs of people whose lives are affected by FASD.

In addition to conducting free workshops, we are also available to assist First Nations in preparing for National FAS Day, participate on various committees, and other FASD related activities.

  • EducationWe provide specialized training and resources to First Nation caregivers, correctional officers, social service workers, educators and community members.
  • Support:  Anishinabek people living with alcohol related birth defects have a right to be treated with Zaagidwin (love) and Mnaadendomowin (respect). We are dedicated to helping our nations to develop the specialized services necessary to meet the needs of those living with FASD.

We have pamphlets resources, videos and facts. We can also supply facilitators and displays for community events as well as training for various groups in First Nation communities.