The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) held its annual conference this year in Toronto, Ontario, from June 13-16, 2016. Bringing together public health professionals, students and organizations, the objectives of Public Health 2016 were to:
The National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH), along with the five other National Collaborating Centres (NCCs) presented and participated in a number of symposia and collaborator and networking sessions throughout this important event. As well, print resources and publications were distributed through the NCCAH booth.
Following the opening plenary, contributors to the 2015 NCCAH book Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health: Beyond the Social, Sarah de Leeuw and Chantelle Richmond presented on “Geography, Land, and Environment as Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Well-being”. This symposium brought to the fore the need to reorient thinking about determinants of health for Indigenous peoples to include colonization, ecology, geography, and relationships to and knowledge systems of the land. The symposium showed how reduced access to land disrupts Indigenous cultures, traditional knowledge, and the health and well-being of Indigenous people.
On the evening of June 13th the NCCAH, along with colleagues from the other NCCs, hosted “Making Connection: the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health Networking Event”. The event was an opportunity for delegates to hear highlights and updates from each of the NCCs as well as provide feedback on their centre-specific resources and ideas for collaboration to strengthen public health in Canada. The following day, the NCCs presented on a decade of innovative knowledge translation approaches and their use of practical communications tools and technologies in the collaborator session “Success and Lessons Learned about Knowledge Translation and Social Media Strategies: Ten Years On”.
For information on the work of the NCCs, see the following websites:
The NCCAH and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH) coordinated the June 15th symposium, “Integrating Indigenous Community Planning into a Healthy Built Environment”. Presenters Roberta Stout, Catherine Donavon, Jeremy Seeseequasis, and Aaron Aubin discussed concepts of the built environment as applied to Indigenous and rural communities, including how community planning, housing, infrastructure, and design influence the health of their members.
Finally, the NCCAH hosted the symposium, “A Call to Action: Pathways to First Nation, Inuit and Métis Health Equity in Canada” on June 15th. Panelists Sarah de Leeuw, Tanya Davoren, Patricia Makokis and Shirley Tagalik discussed the ongoing legacy of health inequities as experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. Couched within the theme of reconciliation, the panelists looked to the arts, education, programming, and traditional teachings as approaches to shift health disparities to well-being.