Good Medicine: We’re celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) a little differently this year!



A message from the Wellness Team, Office of the Chief Medical Officer

Indigenous Peoples Day, which was on June 21, is a time to celebrate the beautiful, powerful, resilient people we are! This year, because of the pandemic, the First Nations Health Authority has provided wellness grants to Indigenous communities across BC for virtual and online innovative activities. These wellness grants provide the opportunities for community-led and wellness-focused events that celebrate and honour the vibrancy of our diverse cultures, while keeping a safe distance. ​With Indigenous communities continuing their celebrations this week, we have some quick reminders to help you stay safe.

Celebrate from a safe distance. For the safety of our families and communities, especially our Elders and Knowledge Keepers, physical distancing is still recommended. This means staying two metres (six feet) apart from those not within your household. It is also preferable to wear a mask, especially if you are indoors or around Elders or higher-risk people.

Celebrate through learning and knowledge. Celebrations can help us learn more about the different Indigenous cultures and histories in BC by listening to or watching radio or TV programs, reading books, or watching documentaries. 

You can read a book by a BC First Nations author, for example:

 Heart Berries: A memoir, by Terese Marie Mailhot from Seabird Island First Nations

 Monkey Beach, by Eden Robinson of Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations

 They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School, by Bev Sellers from Xat'sull Nation

 As I Remember It: Teachings (ʔəms tɑʔɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder, by Elsie Paul from Tla'Amin Nation

 Red: A Haida Manga, by Micheal Nicoll Yahgulanaas from Old Massett Village

Children's books include:

 A Day with Yayah, by Nicola Campbell of Nicola Valley 

 Dipnetting with Dad, by Chief Willie Sellers from T'exelc Nation

 Cloudwalker, by Roy Henry Vickers from Hazelton and Robert Budd from Victoria

You can also watch documentaries about various BC First Nations by the National Film Board of Canada, including:

 Qatuwas - People Gathering Together, which powerfully documents the rebirth of the ocean-going canoe and celebrates the healing power of tradition and the resurgence of Northwest Coast Indigenous culture.

 Laxwesa Wa - Strength of the River, by filmmaker Barb Cranmer, a member of the 'Namgis First Nation, explores the rich fishing traditions of the Sto:lo, Heiltsuk and 'Namgis peoples of Canada's West Coast in Laxwesa Wa - Strength of the River.

 Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole, a feature-length documentary that traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim their G'psgolox totem pole, which went missing from their British Columbia village in 1929.

If you have favourite books or movies by Indigenous authors or filmmakers in or from BC, please share them by using the hashtag: #GoodMedicineFNHA!

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