Advancing Indigenous Health in the Mississauga Halton LHIN
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has identified Indigenous communities as a priority population and in order to promote health equity and reduce health disparities, the Mississauga Halton LHIN is committed to continuing to strengthen local engagements with our Indigenous community members (Citation: Ministry Mandate Letter 2017-2018).
The Mississauga Halton LHIN works collaboratively with provincial and local Indigenous leaders and partner organizations to establish and implement strategies to build health care system capacity to serve the health and social needs of our diverse urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit residents.
In partnership with Indigenous leaders and organizations, the Mississauga Halton LHIN strives to:
- Ensure the voices of Indigenous communities are included in health care planning to better support improved health outcomes
- Understand the lived experiences of Indigenous communities within the health care system
- Build and strengthen a relationship of trust and mutual understanding between the local Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous health service providers
- Improve access to the availability of culturally safe and integrated health services for local Indigenous communities
Indigenous Holistic Wellness Project:
Enabling Culturally Safe and Responsive Care for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit
As a result of these partnerships, a collaborative project of the Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Region Branch, Reach Out Centre for Kids, Peel Aboriginal Network and the Métis Nation of Ontario-Credit River Métis Council, the Indigenous Holistic Wellness Project: Enabling Culturally Safe and Responsive Care for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, is a two year cost-sharing initiative among the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Mississauga Halton and Central West LHINs.
Together we are focusing on addressing the following four priorities: (1) Mental Health and Addictions (2) Chronic Disease / Diabetes (3) Indigenous Cultural Safety and (4) Community Wellness. This collaborative project aims to:
- Incorporate Indigenous health and wellness practices using traditional ceremonies such as Talking and Healing Circles where Elders, Traditional Teachers and Spiritual Healers provide mental health and addictions support
- Increase opportunities for local Indigenous organizations to continue working with the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle who will provide Indigenous Wellness Services such as healthy diabetic foot clinics and nutritious eating workshops
- Enhance Indigenous cultural competencies among non-Indigenous health service providers by offering opportunities to participate in culturally sensitive training such as workshops, e-learning modules and an Indigenous Health Symposium
- Improve community access to traditional ceremonies, healing services and land based community events
Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Program
Non-Indigenous health professionals and service providers across the region want to deliver the highest quality care possible, but often lack the education to work effectively with Indigenous Peoples. To address this knowledge gap, the Mississauga Halton LHIN continues to offer training for providers and LHIN staff to participate in the interactive online Ontario ICS training through Ministry funded seats. Due to the popularity of this training opportunity and growing waitlists, the Mississauga Halton LHIN has purchased additional seats to offer the opportunity to more participants in an effort to enhance system capacity.
This training offers non-Indigenous health professionals an opportunity to examine the ways in which their own culture, education, biases and history have shaped their health practice, especially with regards to stereotypes that impact Indigenous experiences in the in the health system.
Core ICS trainings are designed as foundational courses to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness and build skills related to working effectively with Indigenous peoples. Participants are exposed to various terminology and aspects of colonial history such as residential schools, Indian hospitals, Indian agents, and The Sixties Scoop, which lends itself to a better understanding of the legacies of colonialization that continue to contribute to poor health outcomes for Indigenous peoples today.
For more information on Indigenous Health Planning, please contact Elizabeth Molinaro, Lead, Patient Engagement and Community Outreach at Elizabeth.Molinaro@lhins.on.ca or at 905.337.7131 Ext. 270.
Local Indigenous Partner Organizations
Primary Care Health Services
For individuals seeking primary care health services, please visit the Anishnawbe Health Toronto located in Toronto or De dwa da dehs nye s Aboriginal Health Centre located in Hamilton.
Indigenous Land Acknowledgment
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous Peoples who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. Land Acknowledgement is Indigenous protocol. The following land acknowledgement may be used throughout the Mississauga Halton LHIN:
“As we meet here today, we are in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and before, the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Huron and Wendat. We also acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other global Indigenous Peoples who now call this area their home. We are grateful for the opportunity to be working on this land.”