Wellness Framework

The ONA Wellness Committee has a VISION for service delivery that implements a Syilx cultural framework into everything we do. This service delivery model emphasizes the value of prevention, Cultural Safety and self-determination in all matters of wellness. As we continue to move forward in our Nation’s strategic planning, further integrating services to better meet the needs of our People remains a priority.

There are four Nation-based plans developed that are centered within our community

Voice, captikwl and language. These strategies are:

  1. Child & Family plan
  2. Health Plan
  3. Youth Mental Health Plan
  4. Quality Assurance Model


Child & Family Plan

Building on the groundwork laid by our cultural values, guidance provided by both the community and best practices in Indigenous family wellness, a model has emerged that will allow us, once again, to  exercise jurisdiction over our children and families.

We hope to create a Syilx child and family services agency that would care for all Aboriginal children living in the Okanagan territory. The Syilx Child and Family Plan is an approach to service delivery that addresses complex root causes caused by colonialism and reinforces our community’s ability to create healthy environments where children are safe and can thrive.

The Syilx culture, the nsyilxcәn language, and the Enowkin’wixw process are the foundation upon which this Plan rests. Families are at the center, and prevention is the focus.

As we move towards this future vision the ONA has already implemented the Family Decision Making Program.

The plan will outline:

  • Cultural Framework
  • Community Voice
  • Administering Authority
  • Service Delivery Model
  • Implementation Plan including financials


Health plan

In 2010, the ONA created a Nation-based, community-driven Syilx Health Plan that outlined the unique individual and community health needs of the Okanagan based on our traditional knowledge drawn from our captikwl of “How Food Was Given.” Many community consultations identified the following priority areas at that time: substance misuse, mental wellness, chronic disease management, early childhood development, elder care, violence and abuse and HIV/AIDS.

Because the Nation health plan is a living document, the 2010 Syilx Health Plan is presently being updated to ensure that our Nation health priorities remain current. As significant changes have occurred in health care services to First Nations in the province of British Columbia in recent years, an updated Nation Health Plan will allow us to strategize with our new partners in mind.

Youth Mental Health Plan

Based on Syilx principles, values and culture, the Plan includes prevention and early intervention strategies, as well as steps forward to coordinate and improve access to existing ONA and mainstream youth mental health services.

The Syilx Youth Mental Health plan joins the Syilx Child and Family Plan and the Syilx Health Plan under the Wellness Framework. To ensure the usefulness of the Plan, it is also aligned with the First Nations Health Authority 10 Year Mental Health Plan (A Path Forward: Substance Use 10 Year Plan) Interior Health Authority mental health and addictions services, and MCFD mental health and youth justice planning. Training and learning opportunities will be identified with an emphasis on trauma informed  practice.

Quality Assurance Model

The ONA has committed to developing and implementing a Quality Assurance Model (QAM). The QAM is based on the Enowkin’wixw, in that it is always evolving by identifying challenges, coming up with common solutions, implementing these solutions which are followed by evaluation.

This model develops an organizational culture of continuous quality improvement, to which the ONA is fully committed. One of our cultural principles is being community based. Therefore we need a clear process to involve community voice and feedback. The QAM provides for that. It further provides the space for measuring evidence-based outcomes and allows us to define what those indicators are.

The QAM is a process that not only meets the government and accreditation standards, but more importantly, our own community standards of excellence. This model is applied to all programs and services and staff within the Wellness department.

Standards and Policies within the Model include:

  1. Administrative Arrangements
  2. Performance Management
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Records Management
  5. Program Facilities
  6. Technology
  7. Program Standards