Métis Nation Approaches to Health and Wellness

May 30, 2018

Public Health 2018 is the national forum where public health professionals, researches, policy-makers, academics, students and trainees come together to strengthen efforts to improve health and well-being, to share the latest research and information, to promote best practices and to advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research.

The Métis Nation is actively addressing the health and wellness of Métis people and communities through evidence- and culture-based approaches. The Métis Nation is committed to improving health and wellness outcomes in collaboration with federal and provincial governments and other partners. The Canada-Métis Nation Accord provides a distinctions-based, nation-to-nation mechanism to effectively advance health and wellness through Métis governments.

President Chartier spoke on who are the Métis and Minister Morin Dal Col explained why Métis are a distinct culture and the holistic approach rooted in culture and history to promote health and wellness and reduce the burden of illness. Minister Morin Dal Col also set out a Métis Specific health model, explaining how health and wellness is perceived in Métis communities as well as how culturally-informed strategies and actions can help promote Métis health and wellness, and reduce health disparities in Canadian society.

At her conclusion, Minister Morin Dal Col made four recommendations:

– Recommendation #1: That the government of Canada ensure meaningful engagement of the Métis Nation in the development and implementation of a regulatory framework for cannabis;
– Recommendation #2: That the federal government provide the Métis Nation with resources to minimize the harms of cannabis use in the Métis population;
– Recommendation #3: That funding be provided by the Government of Canada to support prevention education and treatment supports, especially for Métis youth;
– Recommendation #4: That the Government of Canada work with the Métis Nation in enforcing public safety and protection.

In the afternoon at a panel discussion, Susie Cooper, Métis Nation British Columbia Minister of Health and Tanya Davoren, Director of Health (MNBC) emphasized the need to move away from subsuming Métis under First Nations/Aboriginal programming and policies in B.C. as assumptions are made that Métis people receive programming and services from the First Nations Health Authority. Health information on Métis was shared as well as why there is a need for Métis-specific policy, programs and services in cultural safety training in British Columbia.



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