We are pleased to invite you to the 3rd biennial Indigenous Health Conference (IHC): Walking Together which will occur May 24–26th, 2018 in Toronto at the Hilton Meadowvale. This interdisciplinary conference is designed to help health care providers understand how Indigenous ways of knowing with respect to health and well-being can be utilized in health care approaches for Indigenous peoples.
Health care providers can play a critical role as advocates and leaders for the improved health status of Indigenous individuals, families, and communities. The release of the Government of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report highlighted that reconciliation and improved health outcomes for Indigenous peoples can only be achieved through a commitment to maintaining and respecting relationships with Indigenous peoples. Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous language are important factors to consider in this work. With this in mind, the theme for this year’s conference, Walking Together, will emphasize the importance of Indigenous knowledge in achieving this end.
Throughout the conference, selected abstracts from health care professionals, community partners and those involved in Indigenous Health will profile the work being done across Canada through posters, oral presentations and workshops. A job fair will help match health care providers with opportunities to work with Indigenous populations in rural and urban settings. IHC will also host a post-conference course on May 26, 2018 in collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation on the impact of environmental issues on Indigenous Health. The Program will include topics such as mercury poisoning and how environmental contamination affects food security, Indigenous perspectives on the land, Indigenous consent and natural resource extraction. The day will be opened with an Elders Panel led by Jan Kahehti:io Longboat, and will give participants a lens through which to view the remaining content for the day.
The need to educate health care professionals on how to be knowledgeable and culturally safe providers has never been more relevant. Those interested in understanding how to work with Indigenous populations, how to talk about Indigenous issues and how to work within the health system to positively affect health outcomes for Indigenous populations are encouraged to attend.
- Discuss some of the major health issues for Indigenous peoples in Canada and potential solutions to address them.
- Review how historical factors, such as colonization, have had a significant impact on the current health status of Indigenous peoples.
- Understand how Indigenous ways of knowing with respect to health and well-being can be utilized in healthcare approaches for Indigenous peoples and to promote Indigenous worldview and knowledge with support of the Knowledge Keeper, Healers and Elders.
- Educate health care providers on cultural competency and safety including frank discussions about systemic racism in healthcare for Indigenous peoples.
- Knowledge translation and dissemination of the most up to date health care research relevant to the health of Indigenous peoples and the formulation of ideas for future community-based research.
- Provide a networking opportunity for Indigenous community members, health care professionals, researchers and policymakers. Engage in respectful discussions on building trust to support the development of networks, partnerships and allyship.