The NCCAH Celebrates 10 Years!
The National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) proudly celebrates a successful decade of knowledge sharing about Indigenous peoples’ and public health in Canada. As part of our vision, and through the guidance and commitment of our Advisory Committee members, we have ensured that Indigenous ways of knowing and being are integrated into how we develop our resources and share knowledge. Over the past ten years we have held fast to our goal of supporting respectful and meaningful research, policy and practice to advance the optimal health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
In celebration of our achievements, we offer you some of our knowledge sharing stories and experiences. Certainly, it has been a great pleasure to host a number of regional events, dialogue circles, and national gatherings focussed on Indigenous children, families and communities, the social determinants of Indigenous peoples’ health and Indigenous knowledge(s). We hold these gatherings in traditional places, such as long houses, and include traditional foods, music and dance.
Between 2009 and 2014, the NCCAH held four national gatherings to discuss and explore First Nations, Inuit and Métis stories and experiences about family, healthy relationships, and important teachings for family well-being. During these events we heard from mothers, fathers, grandparents, extended family members and community members about supports and activities that keep families strong. The central role played by families in creating strong, resilient, healthy individuals and communities is woven throughout all of these conversations.
In concert with these gatherings, we developed knowledge resources about First Nations, Inuit and Métis women’s journeys into motherhood, including pregnancy, maternity care, birth, and breastfeeding, as well as the significant role of fathers and grandparents in the development of strong infant attachment and bonding, child rearing, and the transmission of culture and language. Of note, four resource booklets were collaboratively developed by the NCCAH and the BC First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in 2013. These booklets share important parenting information, strategies, tips, and other resources that will help First Nations and Métis parents raise healthy, confident, culturally strong, resilient children.
As part of our work to highlight the social determinants of Indigenous peoples’ health, we hosted three national gatherings. At these events, we heard from diverse communities, leadership, and professions, (including sport, housing, education, tourism, health, justice and economic development along with academics and government bureaucrats) who explored, for the first time, how their collective work intersects with the health and well-being of all Indigenous peoples in Canada. These gatherings focused on finding common ground and opportunities to collaborate on visions and actions designed to address the inequitable health experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. In fact, at our last national gathering, we showcased our book, Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada – Beyond the Social as one strategy for promoting the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples. The book is unique in that it is primarily written by Indigenous authors from across Canada. Privileging their voices broadens the social determinants discussion beyond the social to a more comprehensive examination of the health inequities experienced by the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
In this new era of reconciliation, we are excited to continue our work of sharing knowledge, of honoring First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples’ diversity and cultures, and of promoting their optimal health and well-being!