Indigenous Health Network
The HNHB LHIN Indigenous Health Network (IHN) is made up of Indigenous health and social service providers across Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant, Six Nations of the Grand River, and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Together with the LHIN, the Indigenous Health Network seeks to address the health needs and issues of local Indigenous communities.
Through the formation of the IHN, many health service providers and Indigenous organizations have developed stronger partnerships with each other and the LHIN. Collectively, the IHN strengthens the voice of Indigenous communities and provides essential advice and direction on local health care priorities, planning and service delivery.
The IHN’s connection and engagement with local Indigenous community members across the LHIN, the network brings forward diverse perspectives and experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples living both on and off-reserve, and in urban/rural settings.
The purpose of the IHN is to create a forum that will harmonize the efforts of First Nations, Métis and urban Indigenous health and social service providers toward creating a health system that:
- Meets the wholistic health needs of Indigenous Peoples across the region from an Indigenous perspective.
- Integrates traditional Indigenous knowledge and healing systems for healthy people and healthy communities.
- Commits to input from Indigenous communities regarding present and future programs and services.
- Improves the capacity of a broad range of stakeholders to contribute to improved health outcomes of Indigenous Peoples.
- Through designated staff leads, liaises with the HNHB LHIN Board to ensure decisions are positively impacting Indigenous Peoples’ health status and access to services.
In April 2015, the IHN developed its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan based on the health needs of local communities and the health-specific recommendations identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Final Report and Calls to Action. The five key priorities identified were:
Indigenous Cultural Competency
Access to Traditional Healing
Strengthening the Family Unit
Mental Health & Addictions and Suicide Prevention; and
Chronic Disease Management & Prevention
To support these priorities, the IHN engaged in a variety of activities during 2016-17 including:
In partnership with Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (formerly SOADI) and other IHN organizations, De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre (DAHC) led the development of a plan to broaden access to mental health services, patient navigation, primary care, and traditional healing in Niagara. Support for a Niagara-based adult mental health case manager and the enhancement and coordination of an outreach program model in Niagara was approved by the LHIN Board in December 2016.
In November 2016 and March 2017, the IHN hosted two community engagement gatherings in Niagara and Brantford respectively, attended by approximately 220 individuals. These gatherings brought together Indigenous community members, Indigenous health and social service providers, and mainstream health care organizations to learn, share, and discuss current experiences, barriers, and opportunities to improve health care for Indigenous communities. Feedback from these two engagements included recommendations in the areas of cultural safety, Traditional medicine, mental health and addictions, diabetes, home and community care, and end-of-life (EOL) care.
To support the effective implementation of the Health Links model across the HNHB LHIN, Indigenous organizations including DAHC, Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (formerly SOADI), and three Friendship Centres were engaged and identified as care partners involved in developing coordinated care plans for Indigenous community members who would benefit from this approach to care.
For more information, read the LHIN’s most recent reports, including its Annual Business Plan and Annual Report.
Community Engagement Reports
Indigenous Health Network Report - Fall 2017
Traditional Medicine in Today's Health System, December 5, 2014
Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (formerly SOADI)
Our Roots, Our Health Projects -