Indigenous Peoples living with diabetes is the focus of four new health pilot projects in Ontario, Nunavut, Alberta, and Manitoba

Press Release

BURLINGTON, Ont. (February 7, 2023) –The PATHWAYS Indigenous Health Collaborations, an innovative, community-driven health project fund led by Bimaadzwin and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., is adding four more new Indigenous communities to meet the needs of thousands of members burdened with diabetes.

The four new projects were selected by the PATHWAYS Indigenous Health Collaborations Advisory Circle. “To date, we have engaged eight Indigenous Communities across Canada in our PATHWAYS collaborations to advance health care and wellness approaches for Indigenous Peoples living with diabetes,” says Keith Leclaire, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake First Nation and PATHWAYS Advisory Circle chair. “We selected four new diverse projects based on the innovative approaches to nutrition, mobility and leveraging technology to advance health outcomes.”

The four pilot projects selected for funding are:

Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario
Objective: To investigate the impact of food and water insecurity, food production and distribution and regional agricultural processes that impact prevalence and management of type 2 diabetes in order to promote the consumption of traditional foods.

“Our research will analyze Six Nations Health Services’ programming that relates to food and water access in order to implement any requested changes by the community. Our aim is to address water and food quality concerns to improve diabetes management”

Siksika Health Services, Siksika Nation, Alberta
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of using a digital therapeutic solution to prevent and reduce the occurrence of diabetic foot ulcers for members living with type 2 diabetes, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

“Our community project involves piloting a sensory shoe insole with 35 community members who have type 2 diabetes and are prone to diabetic foot ulcers. The device detects pressure points and transmits real-time data and alerts to the individual wearing it, and actionable data to health-care providers. This allows for behavioural adjustments that reduce the risk of foot pressure points leading to ulcers,” explains Dr. Tyler White, Chief Executive Officer of Siksika Health Services.

Municipality of Baker Lake, Nunavut
Objective: To work with youth through the “Champions for Local Health” project, in which the community will educate young people on the impact of diabetes. The Champions will share their knowledge with others in the community.

“Youth are our future and by involving them in wellness programs from an early age we have the opportunity to prevent the acceleration of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, which are prevalent among community members,” says Sheldon Dorey, Senior Administrative Officer, Municipality of Baker Lake.

Ebb & Flow First Nation Health Authority, Manitoba
Objective: To provide education and awareness about type 2 diabetes and how it can be delayed/prevented through early awareness programs. The program will teach how to create sustainable support systems within the community.

“There are 280 community members pursuing treatment for type 2 diabetes, this pilot project will improve collaboration and integration among multi-disciplinary health-care providers to enable self- management -care and improve patient outcomes,” says Lillian Houle, Health Director, Ebb & Flow First Nation Health Authority.

About Bimaadzwin
An Indigenous-led consulting and policy group founded by former Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, our focus is enabling First Nations communities to successfully reconstitute Nationhood by advancing health governance and economic development.

About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. More than 52,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 500 people across Canada. Learn more at


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