Second Forum with National Aboriginal Organizations on Indigenous Social Determinants of Health


Second Forum with National Aboriginal Organizations on Indigenous Social Determinants of Health

“From Visions to Actions”

Hosted by the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health

February 17-19, 2009, Vancouver B.C.On behalf of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH), it is my pleasure to invite you to our second National Forum on Indigenous Social Determinants of Health, February 17-18, 2009, at the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall of the Longhouse at the University of British Columbia. We are again inviting National Aboriginal Organizations from a wide variety of sectors, as well as health professionals, researchers and program managers from across the country, to continue our dialogue on cross-sectoral actions on health inequities experienced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Your participation in our last forum was integral to its success; we are now working to move from the visions we explored in our first gathering to actions on Indigenous Social Determinants of Health. We would be pleased to fully sponsor your participation and supplement a second representative from your organizations (see below for contact information).

We are gathering together to….

This second national forum coincides with the profound economic shifts we are now experiencing. These events will challenge us more than ever to collaborate and cooperate across sectors, build coalitions, and work together in new ways. The solution-oriented dialogue we can embark upon can strengthen our collective sense that “together we are stronger.” We expect to:

· articulate concrete examples of inter-sectoral work targeted to the overall health of individuals and communities;

· identify existing and potential relationships between sectors (for example, the links between economic development, housing and health issues such as tuberculosis and other respiratory illness);

· identify tools and mechanisms that can be used to assist leaders, programs and services and communities in addressing social determinants of health, and

· articulate principles, processes and strategies for addressing health inequities.

This year, we are co-hosting the event with the National Aboriginal Housing Association, the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, and the Aboriginal Health Research Networks (AHRNet) Secretariat. Our sponsors are First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (Health Canada), the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, and BC Aboriginal ActNow.


The NCCAH, one of six National Collaborating Centres funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada to strengthen and renew public health in Canada, is unique in its mandate to collaborate and support First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples across Canada in the realization of their public health goals. Over the past year, two important reports have stressed the importance of addressing social determinants of health in Canada and globally: 1) The World Health Organization report, “Closing the Gap in a Generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health” was released in August 2008 by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. The NCCAH coordinated the participation of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, and facilitated Indigenous representation at an international symposium in Adelaide, Australia, in 2007, to help inform the Commission’s findings. This past October, the Pan-American Health Organization brought Indigenous organizations together to further the discussions. 2) The NCCAH also provided evidence for consideration in the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada’s first “Report of the State of Public Health in Canada 2008,” which recently brought specific attention to health inequalities in Canada.

The National Forums

As you will recall, the NCCAH hosted its first National Forum with National Aboriginal Organizations on Indigenous Social Determinants in February 2008 in Ottawa. The event allowed participants to explore how sectors within and beyond health – such as housing, economic development, education, recreation, and environment – can collaboratively support a holistic and integrated approach to improving health outcomes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The NCCAH produced a documentary of our discussions, “Circles of Health: Sharing Our Gifts” that has been distributed widely in Canada, and to 35 countries internationally. At this inaugural gathering, we all agreed that it would be valuable to continue to develop what was started. We are planning a two-day event to allow for good interaction and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Contact us

We hope that you will once again join us. To let us know of your interest, and for logistical information, we invite you to contact our NCCAH Administrative Assistant, Teri Delaney (; 250-960-5250). We will follow up shortly with a participant information form regarding hotel, travel and guest services. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly. Thank you in advance for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


Margo Greenwood,
Scientific Director, NCCAH

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