Taking a holistic and cultural approach to help increase physical activity and improve overall health
Ottawa – Research suggests that 44% of adults in Canada live with at least one chronic disease, such as heart disease, hypertension, cancer, or diabetes. Many chronic diseases are more prevalent among Indigenous peoples, which often reflects broader inequities they face. Healthy living initiatives that centre and celebrate the unique strengths, cultural traditions and resilience of Indigenous peoples can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and support their overall health and wellbeing.
Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $834,060 to the Gathering Voices Society. This funding will help improve access to health programs for Indigenous peoples in British Columbia as it will enable the Gathering Voices Society to create innovative and integrated approaches to promoting healthy living and addressing the common risk factors for chronic disease.
The funding will also help implement an Indigenous fire management and stewardship project within the Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in First Nations communities, west of Williams Lake, British Columbia. The project will help participants gain a closer connection to the land through the transfer of cultural knowledge and traditional practices, and in doing so, support physical activity and improve mental health and wellbeing within these communities.
“The Government of Canada continues to take important steps to improve health outcomes for everyone in Canada. Through this project, Indigenous peoples in British Columbia will have further access to tools and resources that benefit their overall health and well-being, using traditional knowledge and practices to help reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.” – Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health