Funded through the Status of Women-Increasing Economic Prosperity for Women Program, the Aboriginal Women in Health Coordinator’s (AWHC) main objective is to identify all barriers to the advancement of Aboriginal Women in the health sciences sector. Exploring the social, economic, and institutional challenges through a thorough needs assessment in Okanagan territory, the AWHC will engage health science institutions and regional health authorities with the goal of affecting policy changes to address and remove barriers to successful careers in health. This work will also include creating opportunities for community-based training addressing barriers. As Aboriginal women were traditionally the keepers of the community, they remain the centers of nurturing and healing.
Therefore increasing the number of Aboriginal women in health will ensure greater culturally appropriate supports for our People, and will begin to address the income inequalities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
How will the Aboriginal Women in Health Coordinator serve our communities?
The AWHC will gather community input on what motivates or dissuades Aboriginal women from entering the health sciences in order to develop a strategy that identifies goals and objectives for achieving an Indigenously transformed health care system. As part of this work, the AWHC will identify partners in education, health, and human resources to help inform this strategy. In addition, the AWHC will gather names of our Aboriginal women currently employed in health sciences in order to develop and maintain an Aboriginal Women in Health Employee Network to serve as an important community resource.