Weweni Bimaadiziwin (Looking After Life) Launches Today

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THUNDER BAY – Dilico Anishinabek Family Care premiered its new video, Weweni Bimaadiziwin (Looking After Life) Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in the Northern Superior First Nations, today at the Paramount Theatre in Thunder Bay. The premiere brought together various partners and community members that were involved in the development of the video, which was shot and produced this past spring.

WeweniBimaadiziwin (Looking After Life) Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in the Northern Superior First Nations was written and produced by Dilico Anishinabek Family Care in collaboration with Firedog Communications. The video—consisting of five chapters—blends information about the causes, symptoms, and prevention tactics associated with Type 2 diabetes, with the lived experiences of elders and First Nation community members who have been affected by the disease. Through the use of facts, storytelling, and imagery, the video communicates a very impactful message about how to prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes—a message that originates from community members and is grounded in culturally sensitive and traditional ways of sharing information.

“Type 2 diabetes is a very common and serious disease that affects many families in our Northern Superior First Nations.  We know that one out of seven aboriginal people in Ontario has diabetes, and in our communities, 94% of the cases are Type 2,” said Georgina Redsky, Dilico’s Community Health Services Manager. “It isn’t unusual for a grandmother, a child, or a dad to have the disease in one family unit. However, what many community members do not know is that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. This educational video is a first step towards helping our members to understand the disease, to identify the risks and to make changes in their own lives to promote wellness.”

Several real-life diabetes patients are interviewed throughout the video. They talk about living with the disease, how it has affected their families and communities and the importance of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and developing positive relationships in order to prevent the disease.

“Our young people today need to become more aware about how decisions they make now about their lifestyle will affect them in the future. I remember when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes—at first I was frustrated, but then I had to change the way I thought about it. I had to decide to make positive choices about all aspects of my health—the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual,” said elder Gilbert Legarde, a key storyteller in the video. “This is the message we are trying to communicate to younger generations in this video—and by sharing our stories, people can learn from our experiences and think about the importance of things like proper, nutrition, spirituality, exercise, and spending time with family,”

“It is never too late to reduce the risks of Type 2 diabetes,” added Redsky. “This video offers information and examples that will help people recognize the risks and symptoms to help them live a healthier life.”

The twenty-minute video will be distributed to health centres throughout the Northern Superior First Nations. For further information on diabetes, support, programs, and the video please contact Dilico Anishinabek Family Care: www.dilico.com.