An action-orientated path to prevention for chronic diseases among Indigenous peoples

Cancer Care Ontario - Margaret Froh, Dr. Michael Sherar, Dr. Linda Rabeneck
MNO President Margaret Froh (centre) with Dr. Michael
Sherar (left), President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario
and Dr. Linda Rabeneck (right), Vice-President of
Prevention and Cancer Control with Cancer Care Ontario
at the launch of the Path to Prevention report. Click here to
view a larger version.

On June 15, 2016, in Toronto, Cancer Care Ontario’s Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit launched Path to Prevention—Recommendations for Reducing Chronic Disease in First Nations, Inuit and Métis, a report developed in collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Recommendations in the report address the four key chronic disease risk factors: healthy eating, physical activity, smoking and alcohol, within themes of equity and collaboration with Indigenous peoples.

The report cites established data that indicates that Indigenous populations suffer from occurrences of chronic diseases at much higher rates than non-Indigenous populations and focuses its recommendations on how to improve this situation through preventative measures. The report recommends strategies, policies and initiatives that address the many health challenges and high burden of chronic diseases faced by Indigenous communities. The recommendations are focused on creating environments in which First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples can make healthy choices. Given the many challenges of First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth, recommendations will also help address their needs to increase or improve access to recreation and sporting opportunities. Governments can support the efforts of individuals, families and communities and address gaps in the health system.

Click here to view the report.

Speaking at the launch, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh stated: “The notion of having a path to prevention for chronic disease is critical,” and added that “with an action-orientated approach, we can start to turn this ship around.”

Also present at the launch was Dr. Michael Sherar, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). Dr. Sherar signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the MNO and CCO in February 2015.

Over the last several years, the MNO working with other partners including Cancer Care Ontario, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences have produced a number of ground-breaking reports on chronic diseases within the Métis population in Ontario. Much of this research demonstrated the potential value of prevention as a way of reducing the negative impact of chronic diseases on Métis people.

“The MNO is pleased with the positive direction recommended by the Path to Prevention report,” stated President Froh, “and look forward to continue working with Cancer Care Ontario and our other partners to make these recommendations a reality.”

Published on: June 15, 2016

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