In BC, if you are helping to care for an Indigenous person (First Nation, Metis, Inuit) this 64 page guide Aboriginal Cultural Practices can serve as a beginners introduction on care of Indigenous patients. Created by Vancouver Coastal Health, most information is applicable to all BC.
BC Elders’ Guide (2014)
The Ministry of Health and the First Nations Health (FNH) Authority worked together to produce this health and lifestyle resource. It is based on the BC Seniors’ Guide but designed for First Nations and Aboriginal Elders. The BC Elders’ Guide provides information on provincial and federal programs and community and local resources, with sections on health, lifestyle, housing, transportation, finances, benefits, safety and security, and other services. It acknowledges and respects the traditional ways of Elders. The guide also addresses the importance of nurturing spirit through being engaged in community life and a reminder to keep tobacco use ceremonial. It not only provides a wealth of useful information, but also emphasizes and incorporates the richness of the cultural history of B.C. First Nations and Aboriginal Elders. The guide was developed to ensure that Elders, their families and caregivers have access to information about the programs, services and resources that are essential to their health and wellness. To download a pdf of the guide, please visit: www.fnha.ca/eldersguide , for a print copy, contact the First Nations Health Authority at 604-693-6500 or toll free 1-866-913-0033.
If you or the person you are caring for has been affected by Residential Schools these are some important resources:
Indian Residential School Survivors Society Support Line 1.866.925.4419 (Open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week),
Indian and Residential School Mental Health Support Program toll free: 1.877.477.0775 Fax: 1.604.666.6458
Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP) Fax: (604) 658-2833
END OF LIFE / DEATH & DYING
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Assn (CHPCA) A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: Based on National Principles and Norms of Practice (2002) defines “Informal Caregivers” as caregivers who are “not members of an organization. They have no formal training, and are not accountable to standards of conduct or practice. They may be family members or friends.” http://www.chpca.net/family-caregivers.aspx Caregiving can be difficult. The following resources may help:
Cultural Practices Around Illness and Death
This 27 minute video provides information about cultural practices around illness and death from First Nations speakers from the Haisla, Nisga’a, Tsimshian, Gitxsan and Tahltan Nations near Terrace and Kitimat. https://indigenoushealthnh.ca/resources/local-cultural-resources
Gitxsan Cultural Practices with births, near death and upon the death of a Gitxsan person
This 8 page booklet provides information about Gitxsan cultural practices with births, near death, and upon the death of a Gitxsan person. It includes tips on how to approach these important life transitions for Gitxsan community members. This document was developed by the Terrace/Kitimat and area Aboriginal Health Improvement Committee (AHIC) 2015 https://indigenoushealthnh.ca/resources/local-cultural-resources
Quality palliative care helps people honour their culture, traditions and spirituality. Yet, there are few cultural supports for people living with advanced illness and fewer still for the health providers caring for them. Indigenous people can find culturally appropriate pamphlets like “Honoring Wishes”, “Grief and Letting Go”, “What is Palliative Care”, “Care at Home and Away”, “What to Expect”, and more. http://livingmyculture.ca/culture/
To help improve quality of life and care that is culturally safe and inclusive, Canadian Virtual Hospice and a team of researchers, health providers, patients and families developed LivingMyCulture.ca http://virtualhospice.ca/en_US/Main+Site+Navigation/Home.aspx
FIRST NATIONS HEALTH AUTHORITY
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is a provincial health authority that plans, designs, manages, and funds the delivery of First Nations health programs and services in BC, including the First Nations Health Benefits program.
Information on the Health Benefits Program, including eligibility, MSP, Counselling – Indian Residential School program, Counselling – Short-term Crisis Intervention,Dental, Medical Supplies & Equipment (Wheelchair, glucose test strips, ostomy supplies, etc.), Medical Transportation, Mental Health, Pharmacy, Vision Care, is available on the FNHA website http://www.fnha.ca/benefits or call the General Questions/Benefits Support Representative toll free: 1.855.550.5454 or email HealthBenefits@fnha.ca
FOOD / GROCERIES / NUTRITION
Across Canada, Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Métis Moose stew? Char? Bannock? For the first time, a national food guide has been created which reflects the values, traditions and food choices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The Guide has also been translated into Inuktitut, Ojibwe, Plains Cree, and Woods Cree.
HEALTH – DIABETES
The National Aboriginal Diabetes Association’s mission is to lead the promotion of healthy environments to prevent and manage diabetes by working together with people, communities and organizations. If you are caring for someone with diabetes, visit www.nada.ca email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free: 1-877-232-NADA (6232)