Launching Public Health Sudbury & Districts Indigenous Engagement Strategy Finding Our Path TogetherIssued: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Public Health Sudbury & Districts launched its first-ever Indigenous Engagement Strategy, “Finding our Path Together”. Developed in close collaboration with Indigenous community partners, the strategy marks a critical milestone in the agency’s work to support healthy and vibrant Indigenous communities in their pursuit of self-determined health and well-being.
“Public Health Sudbury & Districts has many long-standing and diverse partnerships with First Nations and Indigenous health services organizations” says René Lapierre, Chair of the Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “The Board hopes to strengthen these relationships and improve health opportunities for all with the important guidance of this Indigenous Engagement Strategy.”
“The strategy sets out four strategic directions,” explains Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “They will help our organization understand public health needs and services in area Indigenous communities, build Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ cultural competence, and enhance the agency’s organizational commitment to developing respectful and mutually beneficial relationships.”
This strategy and the actions described are the culmination of an extensive collaborative process intended to be mutually beneficial, respectful, and strengths-based. The process involved staff from Public Health Sudbury & Districts, Indigenous partners, Elders, and many community voices.
“It is with great pride that we share the first-ever Indigenous Engagement Strategy for Public Health Sudbury & Districts,” says Donna Debassige, Co-Chair, Indigenous Engagement Strategy Advisory Committee. “Our Advisory Committee has embraced the opportunity to work with Public Health Sudbury & Districts to build a strong bridge upon which mutually beneficial relationships can be built.”
The Indigenous Engagement Strategy is an extension of the agency’s longstanding commitment to address health equity and the social determinants of health. This strategy is an important step in a long journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples for the Board of Health and ensuring equal health opportunities for all.
“We will continue to work collaboratively to support Indigenous community public health aspirations,” says Dr. Sutcliffe. “We look forward to walking together for health, based on the relationship values of respect, trust, and humility.”
To help celebrate the launch of the Public Health Sudbury & Districts Indigenous Engagement Strategy, members of the public are invited to attend the keynote address by Kevin Lamoureux Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg and former National Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on the topic of reconciliation and strengthened relations with Indigenous communities. The event will be held at Laurentian University’s Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre on October 18, 2018, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Parking is available in Lot 4. This event will also be livestreamed and can be viewed at the time of the event by following us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PublicHealthSD.