Pathways – Community Driven Project to Empower Indigenous People and Health

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Isadore Day
Isadore Day

Four Indigenous communities – representing thousands of members burdened with diabetes – have been selected for health pilot project funding through PATHWAYS Indigenous Health Collaborations, led by Bimaadzwin and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. These community-driven projects are intended to empower members living with chronic diseases and improve health outcomes.

“Over 30 communities expressed interest in our PATHWAYS collaborations to advance innovative health care approaches and accelerate guideline-based treatments for Indigenous Peoples living with chronic illnesses,” says Isadore Day, CEO, Bimaadzwin. “We selected four diverse projects based on their thoughtful approaches to advancing and sustaining better health outcomes. Together, we’ll explore what’s possible and apply those insights nationally.”

With guidance from a national Indigenous steering committee and a focus on the healing journey, the PATHWAYS team aspires to close the gap in health care disparities for Indigenous Peoples in Canada who are significantly disadvantaged by a high incidence of chronic illnesses and depleted mental health. For example, 80 percent of Indigenous Peoples in Canada will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime1.

The four pilot projects selected for funding are:

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, BC
Objective: Leverage technology to support virtual diabetes care and support health care staff in providing culturally-sensitive care that considers the historical impacts and the unique needs of Indigenous Peoples.

“This investment from PATHWAYS will support the project team in improving diabetes care throughout the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. Improving the lives of community members living with diabetes is aligned with the Council’s organizational goals to promote the betterment, prosperity and well-being of the Nuu-chah-nulth people,” says Dr. Judith Sayers, President, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

Maskwacis, AB (Louis Bull TribeSamson Cree Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation and Montana First Nation)
Objective: Expand the application of virtual health care technology to connect more patients with health care practitioners and required resources when they need it.

“Financial support from PATHWAYS will further leverage technology in order to connect more patients with additional resources, to assess residents’ needs and to provide immediate care. This funding will provide vital support for thousands of Maskwacis residents burdened with chronic diseases, like diabetes, which are prevalent in the community,” explains Chief Vernon SaddlebackSamson Cree Nation.

Métis Federation of Manitoba, MB
Objective: To help advance precision care for 1,200 citizens with type 2 diabetes.

“Manitoba Métis Federation represents the community of approximately 140,000 Métis Citizens who reside across Manitoba. This timely PATHWAYS investment will allow the Manitoba Métis Federation to support Métis Citizens’ health by empowering caregivers to develop prevention strategies to deliver culturally appropriate patient-centered care,” explains Frances Chartrand, Minister of Health, Manitoba Métis Federation.

Wagmatcook First Nation, NS
Objective: Integrate multi-disciplinary health care practitioners to support people living with type 2 diabetes with healthy lifestyle choices and to address food security issues in rural Nova Scotia communities.

“PATHWAYS funding will help enable our rural community engage with residents who have diabetes to promote healthy eating, regular exercise and improved sleep patterns, with support from a multidisciplinary team,” notes Chief Norman Bernard, Wagmatcook First Nation.

Further investments in other chronic illnesses, such as interstitial lung disease, are planned following the successful launch of these four initial pilot projects. Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd. also recently announced a significant PATHWAYS diabetes investment with Research Manitoba.

“These four Indigenous health pilot projects build on other investments we’re making to help improve health and wellness for Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” says Andrea Sambati, President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. is committed to advancing humankind and we strive to make the world healthier for current and future generations.”