President Lipinski and Minister MacCharles stress the value of working together during MNO Health Summit
MNO President Gary Lipinski (right) presents
the Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister of
Children and Youth Services, with a Métis
Medicine Kit during the MNO Health Summit
on February 23, 2015.

On Monday, February 23, 2015, over 200 health researchers and other professionals gathered in Toronto for the 2015 Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Health Summit. The Health Summit launched the latest results from the MNO’s ground breaking program of collaborative research on Métis health, conducted with partners from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Ontario universities, federal and provincial governments, and organizations with an interest in Métis health.

Throughout the day, sessions provided the latest available data on coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, respiratory disease, musculoskeletal disease, renal disease, mental health, and health risk factors in the provincial Métis population. The data demonstrates that significant health disparities exist between Métis and the general Ontario population. The Summit also included an insightful session on community practices being developed by MNO staff and their partners that aim to bring about measurable improvements in Métis health outcomes.

In his opening remarks for the Summit, MNO President Gary Lipinski spoke of how the research carried out by the MNO Chronic DiseaseIndira Naidoo-HarrisIndira Naidoo-Harris (right), Parliamentary
Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long
Term Care, is presented with a Métis Medicine
Kit by MNO Chair France Picotte (centre) and
MNO Director of Healing and Wellness,
Wenda Watteyne (left).
Surveillance Program with its partners is an amazing achievement. “As I think any successful leader knows . . . it is by working together that we are able to achieve mutual objectives.”

In discussing the findings of the research, President Lipinski commented: “We are seeing high rates of modifiable risk factors in the Métis community like non-traditional tobacco use, diet, obesity, inactivity, sedentary living and alcohol consumption to name a few. We know from our citizens and from MNO client and community services that access to mental health [initiatives] continues to be a major concern. That is why the work that the MNO, in linking our systems to health supports through MNO’s Telehealth and other services, is essential.”

Detailed information about the chronic disease research discussed at the MNO Health Summit will be posted on the MNO website in the coming days and will appear in the next edition of the Métis Voyageur newspaper in the next few weeks.

While speaking at the MNO Health Summit, the Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services, also highlighted the value of collaboration and partnership. “We have that shared desire and commitment to see Métis children, youth, and adults with good mental and physical health,” she stated, “because at the end of the day that is a starting point for us and everyone in our province.”

The MNO Health Summit will conclude the afternoon of Tuesday, February 24, 2015.