OKANAGAN NATION WELLNESS DECLARATION
To support a holistic approach to Health & Social Development which will promote self-sufficiency Okanagan Nation communities by integrating our traditional and cultural approaches to community wellness.
The Okanagan Nation Alliance Wellness has three main clusters: Health, Youth Mental Health and Child and Family. The ONA is currently providing, or is in the process of developing, a number of innovative Health and Social Programs for the Nation.
These include the following initiatives:
- Community Engagement Hub (CeH): The CeHs are groups of First Nations communities who have agreed to plan, collaborate, and communicate to meet their Nation’s health priorities.
- Okanagan Nation Health Plan: the ONA CEC mandated the development of a Health Plan to help identify strategies for addressing the health gaps and disparities. The anticipated outcome of the process was to identify priority items for urgent and transformative action. Then, by securing resources, forging partnerships and exercising jurisdiction over the land and the people, the Okanagan Nation Member Bands would apply cultural teachings and practices (ceremonies, traditional medicines & foods), to begin to narrow the health gaps and to ensure better outcomes for Syilx People.
- Shared Care Pathway: The overall objective is to improve Okanagan Nation members’ access to health services in the region.
- Navigating Mainstream Health: Cultural Saftey: to develop culturally relevant resources and curricula to assist the Syilx peoples in successfully navigating the complex and ever-changing mainstream health care system.
YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH
- The Okanagan Nation Response Team (ONRT): Was established in 2005 (with a mandate to “Assist individuals and communities to find healthy paths along which people choose life.”) The ONRT or Səxʷkənxit əlx (meaning “Those Who Help”) is a team of Okanagan front line workers who respond to crises in the community when they occur and deliver educational workshops. The team is built on the principal of “Okanagans helping Okanagans”.
- R’Native Voice: R’Native Voice was established in 2004 to support Aboriginal Youth in the Okanagan Territory. This program promotes teaching youth about their culture and history and assists youth to develop self-esteem and to make positive lifestyle choices.
- Aboriginal Child and Youth Wellness Program: ONA in partnership with the Ooknakane Friendship Centre, Aboriginal Wellness Coordinator (AWC) assists families to navigate the wellness health system to access services that they may require and to identify services available to families.
CHILD AND FAMILY
- Children and Family Services Initiative
- Family Decision Making Program (FDM): The FDM circle is a process in which extended families gather to plan for their children. Coming together to problem solve in this manner has been happening in this region since long before contact. The FDM circles have proven to be highly successful in keeping our families unified and strong. Stemming from the premise of collective responsibility, our model treats the wider family network of kin and community as a source of strength and seeks to actively involve them in decision making. A collective perspective gives rise to a collective responsibility; this is our Indigenous way of caring for and supporting our families. Through this process we ensure connection to ancestral lands, culture and language for our children.
- Aboriginal Early Childhood Development