The Champlain LHIN's health system planning and funding functions are now part of Ontario Health, a government agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians continue to receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.

Indigenous Health Circle Forum


The Champlain LHIN Indigenous Health Circle Forum (Circle) represents rural and urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across the region, and partners with the LHIN to address health and wellness issues, and health system improvement opportunities.

The goal is to ensure the health needs of Indigenous people are considered in planning and decision-making.

Currently, the Circle is focused on addressing the following priorities:

By priority, here are some of the resources the Circle has developed:

Chronic Disease / Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases among Indigenous people. As well, Indigenous people also face a higher level of complications from the disease.

The Circle recently completed a report to better understand how to improve prevention and diabetes management, and the factors that affect the recruitment and retention of Indigenous people in diabetes and prevention programs.

A summary of the report, Identifying Wise Practices: Diabetes Management with Indigenous Clients, will be available soon.

In 2017-18, the LHIN provided funding for capacity support for diabetes navigation in Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and at the Pembroke Regional Hospital. This was in response to recommendations from a recent needs-assessment conducted in Renfrew County.

The goal is to increase access to culturally safe services, provide home and hospital visits, and ensure more consistent follow-up care. Clients are connected to available services so that their condition can be better managed.

Mental Health and Addictions

In 2012, the Circle undertook an extensive research project to better understand the scope and nature of mental health and addictions issues faced by Indigenous youth in the region. Learn more in the report, My Life, My Well-Being.

This research led to more work to identify ways to improve mental health for Indigenous youth: Now Now Now: Mental Wellness for Indigenous Youth in the Champlain Region.

In 2017-18, funding was provided to the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health to support Indigenous youth with substance use challenges. A youth-addictions outreach worker and traditional knowledge keeper were hired to complement Wabano’s existing mental health team, serving this very complex, high-needs client base. In addition, supplementary supports were provided to the Bear Medicine program that works to prevent overdose and death from opioid addiction by fostering connections to culture and community.

Indigenous Cultural Safety

The Circle has focused on increasing training opportunities for health service providers across the region. This is needed within the health and mental health system to bring to light service provider bias and colonization legacies that continue to affect service accessibility and health outcomes for Indigenous people.

In support of this, the Champlain LHIN periodically funds a limited number of seats for LHIN-funded providers to complete online Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) training.

In 2017-18, the LHIN provided funding for 513 staff at health organizations to complete the online training program. This represents a significant increase in the participation of 295 trainees the previous year.

Additionally, the LHIN supported the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health to build on its work in cultural safety training. The LHIN provided funds to support the development and implementation of an ICS training model that will build on the current online content.


If you are a LHIN-funded provider interested in learning more about ICS training, please take a few minutes to watch this video, and then contact Marcia Gibson (contact information, below).

Community Wellness

The Circle focuses on health-equity for Indigenous peoples. An Indigenous health-equity and wellness think-tank was held in early 2017. It led to the development of a framework for improving health outcomes for Indigenous peoples that will go through a validation process.

In 2017-18, the Circle hosted its annual “culture as treatment” symposium. This year’s two-day event focused on health equity and child and youth mental health. The LHIN-funded report Now Now Now: Mental Wellness for Indigenous Youth in the Champlain Region was a focal point of the event. It is the first in a series of work intended to showcase what culturally-informed mental health care for Indigenous youth should offer.

Additional Resources

For more information, please contact Marcia Gibson (, 613.747.3266 or toll-free 1.866.902.5446 x 3266).

Banner artwork by Christi Belcourt.
"Grandfather Stories" by Leah Dorion.

Indigenous Health Circle Forum Members

Name Organization

Allison Fisher,

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

April White,

Health Department, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Connie Siedule

Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team


Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation

Maureen Sarazin Tomasini Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation

Mikki Adams

Inuuqatiiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families


Minwaashin Lodge

Kim Jerome
Odawa Native Friendship Centre
Robert Guyea Renfrew and County District Aboriginal Friendship Centre

Amanda Kilabuk

Tungasuvvingat Inuit