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“The door is open for you to learn” Aboriginal Health grants help to create a culture of change. Vince Terstappen, Health Promotions, Northern Health

Can grants help to build cultural understanding, trust, and respect? The answer to that question is a resounding “yes!” from Northern Health’s Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs). Beginning in 2014, AHICs received funding support to develop local cultural resources. They were guided by a deceptively simple question: “If I were a new health care provider in your community, what would you want me to know?” The different ways AHICs answered this question highlight the important role these collaborative groups have in our communities. Take, for example, the beautiful videos created by two committees in the northwest. These videos explore the cultural roles of the family, the diversity of health and wellness practices among Nations, the present day impacts of residential school experiences, and more. The videos – like local resources created by other AHICs – are a gift from First Nations to support our learning journeys.

Find a summary of local cultural resources created by AHICs at:

more information What are Aboriginal Health Improvement Committees (AHICs)? AHICs are action-oriented groups that work together on local initiatives that support the well-being of First Nations and Aboriginal people and communities. There are eight committees across northern B.C. Committee members include local representatives from Indigenous communities and organizations, Northern Health, First Nations Health Authority, and other sectors. The committees provide opportunities to develop stronger connections, build cultural understanding, and address local health priorities. Learn more at

Begin or continue your learning journey with three videos at NorthernHealthBC/videos: C ultural

practices around birth

C ultural

practices around illness and death

H onouring

our journey

As Kitkatla Councillor Timothy Innes said, “The door is open for you to learn. Learn how our culture is and what it entails … and who we are, then (you) can work with us more comfortably … you’re not intruding.”

10 Healthier You

winter 2016

left: Young drummer at the launch of an AHIC video in Kitselas.

Healthier You Northern Health winter2016 web  
Healthier You Northern Health winter2016 web