For Immediate Release
COAST SALISH TERRITORY – On June 21, First Nations and Aboriginal peoples across BC, their partners and the general public will celebrate wellness at 160 National Aboriginal Day of Wellness events!
Over 20,000 people are anticipated to take part in wellness-focused, community-organized events that include Cultural Safety Workshops, Run/Walk Events, Health Workshops, Community Feasts, Canoe Races, Totem Raising, Sweat Lodges, Hoop Dancing, Weaving Workshops, and Storytelling with Elders, Traditional Medicine Gathering, and much more.
"We've seen great interest in the June 21 Day of Wellness events as an opportunity for First Nations communities to celebrate their health and culture, and showcase the strength and resilience of their peoples and Nations," said Joe Gallagher, CEO of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). "We encourage all health professionals to attend events as an opportunity to learn more about First Nations, and to celebrate First Nations health, wellness, culture and resilience."
Initiated by the FNHA in 2013, June 21 Aboriginal Day of Wellness events celebrate and showcase community health and wellness as determined and defined by First Nations and Aboriginal communities in BC. Events are created by communities to celebrate and reflect their diversity, cultures and perspectives.
"Indigenous peoples are survivors. Our peoples endured assimilation policies, Indian Residential Schools, alienation of our homelands, and lost access to fish and game. The Day of Wellness Events serve as a powerful ways to celebrate our survival and to seek physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental wellness," said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair of the First Nations Health Council. "Let us build on our resilience and heal ourselves through celebration of wellness events."
In July 2015, the FNHA and all BC Health Authorities signed and committed to a Declaration of Commitment to advance cultural humility and cultural safety. The day is an opportunity for health and wellness professionals and partners to gather and celebrate community vibrancy, and have healthy discussions about what culturally safe health care means to the peoples they serve.
To view an interactive map that shows each and every event and details – visit the FNHA website here! For more information on cultural humility and cultural safety in health services, visit the FNHA website at: www.fnha.ca/culturalhumility.