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Gitxsan Way of Knowing About Dementia – FNHA

Jan 15, 2020

​“One night he wandered outside and was sleeping on the lawn…he had made his bed on the lawn and that really scared us,” tells Raechelle Wilson (Xsin Gans O’otsinx), Gitxsan, as she recalls a memory of her father-in-law.

Dementia is a brain condition with no known cure, and the incident rate in First Nations and Indigenous populations in BC is 34% higher than in the general population. Learning about it is part of the solution.

Together, First Nations Health Authority and the Gitxsan communities of Kispiox and Sik-e-Dakh, worked to develop a video with community members who were open to sharing their experience of caring for a family member living with dementia. Community health nurses also contributed to the video, with the goal being to help educate First Nations audiences about things to look for and how to get help if they think someone they know may be developing dementia.

“In our First Nations culture, because dementia was never mentioned fifty years ago, this is all something new. It’s here now. Back then, when our Elders were getting old, people would just say they’re getting old, they’re tired…they’ve just had their days. They never thought about dementia,” Marlene Tait, Haida/Gitxsan, explains in the video.

Read More: https://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/gitxsan-way-of-knowing-about-dementia