Champlain LHIN Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

NEWS – June 21, 2016 - The Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) joins Indigenous peoples in Canada to commemorate the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day. The event celebrates the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

In this region, the LHIN has partnered with the Champlain Indigenous Health Circle Forum (IHCF) since 2008 to improve health services for Indigenous communities. The IHCF represents Indigenous peoples in urban and rural areas of the region, and includes the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Department of Health, and the Algonquins of Pikwàkanàgan First Nation.

During the past year, the LHIN and the IHCF have focused on increasing Indigenous cultural competency among health providers and identifying gaps in mental-health and addiction services. Progress has also been made in the areas of diabetes and hospice / palliative care. Highlights include:

  • After the Indigenous Health Circle Forum prioritized mental health and addictions services, the Champlain LHIN funded walk-in counselling services for Indigenous clients in Ottawa. Located at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, this new program provides brief counselling sessions and referrals for people with mental health and stress-related issues. The LHIN had previously funded three mental-health system navigators to help Indigenous clients connect with the appropriate services.
  • On the recommendation of the Indigenous Health Circle Forum, the Champlain LHIN is supporting Indigenous cultural-competency training for health-care practitioners across the region. The LHIN has also obligated its funded providers to report annually on their Indigenous cultural-awareness educational activities.
  • Improving diabetes services is another priority for the Indigenous Health Circle Forum, as Indigenous people are at higher risk for the condition. Therefore, in the coming months, the LHIN and partners will identify strategies and actions to address gaps in diabetes services for Indigenous communities.
  • The Algonquins of Pikwàkanàgan First Nation and Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program are now piloting a new hospice palliative model of care in the community. The program allows for more accessible and sustainable care, and is based on what the client needs and wants – either at home or in hospital.

The LHIN is committed to responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to address priorities identified as important to the health and well-being of Indigenous communities.


"The Indigenous Health Circle Forum is supportive of the strong partnership with the Champlain LHIN. Indigenous people have higher levels of chronic disease than the general population. The health system must be responsive and provide services to Indigenous people as close to home as possible. Improving the delivery of health care is essential and must lead to better health outcomes for Indigenous people.”

- April White, Co-Chair,
Champlain Indigenous Health Circle Forum
and Director,
Department of Health, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

"One of the LHIN’s main goals is to ensure health services are equitable and serve diverse populations, based on unique needs. That means developing an in-depth understanding of Indigenous culture, and taking concrete actions to improve the delivery of care. We value the contributions of the Indigenous Health Circle Forum, and look forward to our ongoing partnership.”

- Chantale LeClerc, CEO,
Champlain LHIN 

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