Graphic facilitation created during a 2021 meeting of the
Environment Community Health Observatory Network. Click on image for
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is
engaged in a collaborative project with Simon Fraser University (SFU)
which will help identify ecological indicators that are based in the 7 Directives and examine how those indicators contribute to Indigenous-led Health Impact Assessments.
Healing Indicators: Research in Indigenous health impact assessment and
self-determination, the project has two main goals.
first is to help determine the FNHA’s ongoing role in Environmental
and Health Impact Assessment processes of industrial projects. Environmental Public Health Services
(EPHS) staff are requested to participate in the adjudication of the
health and wellness impacts—both positive and negative—of these
Secondly, the work builds on the connection to land and self-determined ecological indicator goals highlighted in the First Nations Population Health and Wellness Agenda.
Healing Indicators is developing tools and clarity
to help communities and staff respond adequately to health impact
assessment requests. For example, we are working on templates for EPHS
staff and communities, to help respond to Impact Assessment requests as
well as a matrix to identify how to respond to whom. The work also builds on the ongoing land-based indicator research the FNHA has been progressing.
The project is supported through a Health Systems Impact Fellowship and came about through the Environment Community Health Observatory Network
(ECHO) a national and international collaboration involving the FNHA,
SFU, University of Northern British Columbia and Northern Health, and
multiple other institutions across Canada.
ECHO is a
five-year research program that began in May of 2017. The purpose of the
network is to take notice of, and respond to, the influence of resource
development on health and well-being, with specific emphasis on rural,
remote and Indigenous communities and environments.
12-14, ECHO will be co-hosting a gathering in Cowichan territory. The
meeting is a wrap-up of the project that will also discuss next steps
for the ECHO collective that is emerging from the network, including
future work on climate change.