First Nations looking to create independent health care system in Ontario
'The whole design of it has to come from the people that actually live within that system'
A second public meeting at the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre is planned for today in Sudbury, to gather more ideas from people living in nearby Anishinabek communities regarding changes to the way they receive health care.
More First Nations people are turning to traditional forms of healing says Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, the director of traditional programming at the centre.
That balance will be a key part of the Anishinabek Nation's health transformation initiative says Cathy Bellefeuille. She is leading a series of public engagement sessions.
Anishinabek Nation — which represents 40 First Nation communities across the province — is looking to develop an independent health care system to serve its members.
The first of at least six public meetings throughout Ontario was held in Sudbury on Wednesday.
"If we were satisfied with the Western system, we wouldn't be here right now," Bellefeuille says.
The Anishnabek Nation is following in the footsteps of other First Nation groups that have developed models for delivering health care services.
What needs to change?
"When you have a population of people that, they have their own experiences, for somebody from the outside to tell them, 'This is what you need,' it's not really fair. The whole design of it has to come from the people that actually live within that system," Bellefeuille says.
The goal is to find out what needs to change to better reflect the needs of Indigenous communities.
"We want to know if we were to have our own system what do we envision that to be," Bellefeuile says.
The next public sessions will be held near London, Ont., next week. Bellefeuille says she hopes to hold at least one more in Sudbury later this spring.
With files from Robin De Angelis