AFN Sets Up for National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day

Chief Perry Bellegarde
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Assembly of First NationsTHUNDER BAY – HEALTH – In advance of National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day on May 6, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and AFN Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day today called for Indigenous peoples across Canada to take action and learn more about diabetes prevention.

Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN)
Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN)

“I encourage all Indigenous peoples to take action in detecting and preventing diabetes,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.   “We can take control of our own health by committing to an active lifestyle and educating ourselves about how to prevent and manage diabetes.  There is a role for everyone in fostering healthier, stronger First Nations.  We need to work together to ensure First Nations have access to healthy foods, diabetes care, and prevention programs that are community-driven and effective in meeting actual needs.”

The National Aboriginal Diabetes Association, together with partner organizations in Manitoba, is hosting a free public event at the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre in Winnipeg on Friday May 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event will feature interactive educational sessions focused on the theme “Healthy Family” aimed at providing resources for Indigenous children, families and Elders.

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day

“The AFN supports the work of the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association, particularly its efforts to work directly with First Nations to develop health and wellness resources and tools that work for them,” said AFN Regional Chief Isadore Day who leads the national health portfolio at AFN.  “The more we get families and entire communities behind the effort to prevent diabetes, the better off we’ll all be. The AFN continues to promote active and healthy lifestyles through community gatherings and initiatives showcased via Just Move It Canada and IndigenACTION.”

Just Move It Canada (www.justmoveit.org) is an online web tool chronicling community-driven physical activity and wellness initiatives aimed at promoting and motivating health and fitness among Indigenous communities in Canada.

IndigenACTION is aimed at fostering partnerships between Indigenous athletes and the public and private sectors in support of healthy living, recreation and sport.  The seventh annual IndigenACTION 5K Friendship Run is taking place at the AFN Annual General Assembly in Niagara Falls this July.  For more information on #IndigenACTION visit http://www.afn.ca/index.php/en/policy-areas/indigenaction/.

National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day is recognized annually on the first Friday in May.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.