Injury prevention and control

The key objective of injury prevention activities is to work with national and regional partners, including National Aboriginal Organizations, on-government organizations, provinces and territories, researchers, communities and other partners to gather existing data and statistics to: monitor injury trends; promote best practices; identify priorities for knowledge development, dissemination and exchange; and, contribute to the development of tools to assist First Nations and Inuit communities to create supportive environments and prevent injuries.

Injury prevention education is provided through community-based programs, such as Aboriginal Head Start and Brighter Futures, to help First Nations and Inuit children understand the importance of injury prevention from an early age.

Executive Summary

The FNHA recognizes the importance of injury prevention, including but not limited to, falls, motor vehicle crashes, violence, water/boating safety and suicide attempts.

Background and Current Initiatives

Injuries are higher in the First Nations population compared to the provincial average. Motor vehicle crashes, for example, are one of the leading causes of injury and death for Aboriginal people, especially males between the ages of 15 – 24. Injuries are also aggravated in rural and remote communities because of few health care facilities, hospitals or first aid being readily available.

During the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey’s World Café Forum, the Health Authority hosted an Injury Prevention table where communities could express their injury prevention concerns which would guide the Health Authority’s direction.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the injury prevention program is to reduce the number of injuries amongst First Nations. Three areas came up repeatedly at the Gathering Wisdom Forum in the areas of first aid, violence, and water safety.

The First Nations Health Authority recognizes that rural and remote communities have difficulties receiving prompt emergency first aid services. In partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, the First Nations Health Authority is in the process of developing a plan to bring First Aid/First Responders training to all communities within the next 3 – 5 years. Once the plan is drafted and reviewed by the First Nations Health Authority, more details will be available to communities on the available training.

In collaboration with the Red Cross, schools will be able to access materials so students can learn about water safety. The First Nations Health Authority will be consulting with the First Nations Education Steering Committee to ensure all communities interested in water safety will be able to access the information.

The Red Cross also has a program called RespectED that trainers qualified individuals in the areas of abuse, harassment and interpersonal violence. RespectED is a program that promotes healthier relationships and safer communities through education and partnerships. Jody Olsson, Wellness Coordinator of the First Nations Health Authority, is developing is working with the Red Cross to provide initial training to members of teams of crisis response teams in the Fall. 

Tripartite First Nations Health plan action items addressed through the Injury Prevention Initiative:

  • Action Item 13 – Improve First Responder programs in rural and remote First Nations communities
  • Action Item 14 – Develop an informational campaign to increase awareness about seatbelt us and safe driving​

Committees serving the Injury Prevention initiative:

The First Nations Health Authority holds a seat on the provincial Fall Prevention Steering Committee. This committee focuses on senior falls prevention. Through this committee, we hope to make regional health authorities aware of the concerns of First Nations communities and create culturally appropriate programs in consultation with First Nations communities. In addition, the FNHA participates in the First Nations Regional Injury Prevention Working Group through the Assembly of First Nations.


The Child Seat Share Cooperative (CSSC) Guide

The purpose of this Child Seat Share Cooperative (CSSC) guide is to provide First Nation communities with an overview of what a CSSC program is; and how to develop and operate a CSSC program. The First Nations Child Seat Share Co-operative (CSSC) is our commitment as a community to accept that responsibility to ensure our future and our communities’ future. This program begins with reading and understanding of this guide.

Download here: First Nations Child Seat Share Co-operative PDF (2.16 mb)

Read the info from FNHC's 2011 "Safer Nations, Injury Prevention" Video Contest Here!

Facts on Injury

  • Unintentional and intentional injuries are a serious public health concern in Canada:
  • In 2003, 13,906 Canadians died as a result of injuries (this figure excludes adverse events in medical care).
  • 226,436 people were admitted to hospital in Canada because of injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003.
  • Injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, are the leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 1 and 44 and the fourth leading cause of death for Canadians of all ages. Many non-fatal injuries result in impairments and disabilities such as blindness, spinal cord injury and intellectual deficit due to brain injury.
  • Injuries are a major cause of premature mortality and disability in Canada. Fatal and disabling injuries often strike down adolescents and young adults. In 2003, injury, excluding adverse events in medical care, was the second leading cause of potential years of life lost (PYLL) (after cancer) before the age of 70.
  • In an international comparison of injury deaths (mortality rates) in 11 developed countries, Canada had the 5th lowest death rate for all injuries, excluding adverse events in medical care, and the 7th lowest rate for suicide. (Fingerhut et al. Advance data from vital and health statistics; no. 303. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Sciences. 1998.)
  • The economic burden of unintentional and intentional injuries combined is estimated to be greater than $12.7 billion per year or 8% of the total direct and indirect costs of illness, ranking 4th after cardiovascular disease, musculo-skeletal conditions and cancer. (The economic burden of illness in Canada, 1998. Health Canada, 2002)​
  • Another economic study estimated that unintentional injuries alone cost Canada more than $8.7 billion annually. (Angus D et al. The economic burden of unintentional injury in Canada, SMARTRISK, 1998)
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