COAST SALISH TERRITORY – First Nations and Aboriginal peoples and partners will be coming together in wellness at 145 Day of Wellness events throughout British Columbia on June 21. This year communities have been encouraged to show cultural pride by bringing together the wisdom of Elders and the energy of youth at their celebrations.
Wellness-focused, community-organized events this year include storytelling, live music, traditional song and dance, feasting, hikes, youth camps, traditional games, bannock-making contests and much more.
“June 21 Day of Wellness continues to be a day that First Nations look forward to each year—the events provide opportunities to gather and celebrate our cultures and wellness on the longest day of the year,” said Joe Gallagher, CEO of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). “As we work toward a brighter future for our families and communities, we encourage all health professionals to attend events to learn more about First Nations, cultural humility, and to celebrate with us.”
This is the fifth year that the FNHA has supported June 21 Day of Wellness events to celebrate and showcase community health and wellness as defined by First Nations and Aboriginal communities across BC. A total of $324,650 will be invested provincially for events to bring together BC First Nations communities and Aboriginal service partners to celebrate culture, wellness and resilience.
“When we gather together and celebrate our wellness, we are making our ancestors proud,” said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair of the First Nations Health Council. “Their resilience kept our cultures and teachings of wellness alive for us to be able to enjoy our land, water and teachings today. I hope this year’s events nurture your spirits and bring your communities together in health.”
In July 2015, the FNHA and all BC health authorities signed and committed to a Declaration of Commitment to advance cultural humility and cultural safety in health care for First Nations in BC. The day is an opportunity for health and wellness professionals and partners to gather and celebrate community vibrancy, and have healthy discussions about what culturally safe health care means to the people they serve.
For more information on cultural humility and cultural safety in health services, visit the FNHA website at: www.fnha.ca/culturalhumility.