Matawa Health Co-operative Hosts 1st Awareness Walk in Thunder Bay on World Diabetes Day

Press Release

November 14, 2022

THUNDER BAY, ON: The Matawa Health Co-operative (MHC) will be hosting its 1st awareness walk on Monday, November 14, 2022 in Thunder Bay on World Diabetes Day, an annual day that has been observed since 1991 all over the world to draw attention to the global epidemic of diabetes. The theme, this year, is ‘Education to Protect Tomorrow.’ Participants are encouraged to wear blue.

MHC Executive Director Frances Wesley will be on hand to provide remarks. Duncan Gagnon, a person with lived experience, will provide his personal story of living with diabetes. Participating community partners will include the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre (TBIFC), the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, Anishnawbe Mushkiki and Semple Enterprises. The event will include a pre-walk warm-up exercise provided by Shae-Lynn Willanen of the TBIFC. Certified Diabetes Educators/Registered Nurses from the MHC will also provide information on diabetes.

The MHC works to incorporate traditional healing and medicines in addressing the holistic health needs of the Matawa First Nations focusing on the priorities of mental health and addictions, diabetes and chronic diseases. One of the areas that will be highlighted during this event is the correlation between past and ongoing intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous people which continues to cause physiological adaptations that increases tendency toward obesity, greater insulin sensitivity, lower insulin levels, and lower basal metabolic rates—all markers in pre-diabetes and Type2 diabetes.

The event will reiterate the call for more needing to be done to prevent and control diabetes which is growing amongst young Indigenous people within the Matawa region where access to quality resources, education and diabetes management teams are limited.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend.

Date: Monday, November 14, 2022

Location: Intercity Shopping Centre Entrance – by Pearl Vision

Time: 1:30 pm

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For more information, please contact: Gloria Hendrick-Laliberte, Health Promotion Education Planner on cell at: (807) 621-1974 or by email at:


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