Aboriginal Healing & Wellness Strategy (AHWS)
The goal of the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Strategy (AHWS) is to improve the health of Aboriginal individuals, families, communities and nations. This will be realized by reduced family violence through equitable access to health care, Aboriginal specific health care facilities, improved standards of care, the provision of culturally appropriate health services, and the promotion of a healthy environment. A traditional and culturally appropriate approach to healing and wellness for all Aboriginal peoples of Ontario will ensure access for all to the type of health care and services most other Ontarians take for granted.
The two main components of the Strategy are “healing" and "wellness". These evolved from the need to address the issues of family violence in Aboriginal communities and to create a province wide, Aboriginal-specific health policy.
The Strategy is unique because the government’s role is administrative and its services and programs are Aboriginal designed, delivered and controlled. Empowerment is critical to promoting wellness in Aboriginal communities striving for self-reliance and is achieved by using the traditional and cultural teachings and values that kept individuals and communities strong in the past.
The AHWS is directed by a Joint Management Committee with representation from the following:
- Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI)
- Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT#3)
- Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO)
- Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN)
- Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC)
- Ontario Métis Aboriginal Association (OMAA)
- Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA)
- Six Nations of the Grand River
- Temagami First Nation
- Union of Ontario Indians (UOI)
- Chiefs of Ontario (COO) [ex-officio]
- Ministry of Community, Family and Children Services (MCFCS)
- Ministry of Health (MOH)
- Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA)
- Ontario Women's Directorate (OWD)
Key priorities include:
- Pre-natal Infant Mortality
- Stress and Suicide Prevention
- Alcohol Related Issues