Aboriginal Health

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Questions, concerns and complaints

Concerns or complaints are best addressed and resolved at the time and place they occur.

Acute and Community Care

Aboriginal patient navigators support patients in the hospital and community

The Aboriginal Patient Navigators (APNs) connect with Aboriginal patients and family members, health care professionals, and other service providers to make sure Aboriginal patients receive culturally safe, appropriate, and timely care, whether in hospital or community.

Aboriginal Health Liaisons represent part of the APNs team, and provide support, advocacy, and health education to Aboriginal clients and their families in hospital and community settings. Aboriginal Mental Health Liaisons, who provide assessment, referral, counseling support services, and liaise with other mental health workers in hospital and community, are also part of the APNs team.

From connecting patients to community services, assisting and educating health professionals in caring for Aboriginal clients, to helping patients understand and navigate the health care system; APNs provide invaluable support and services to Fraser Health’s Aboriginal patient population.

Primary Care

Safe, holistic and accessible care for Aboriginal people

Aboriginal health nurse practitioners provide safe, holistic and accessible primary care for Aboriginal people of all ages. Two nurse practitioner positions have been created to provide culturally appropriate primary care to Aboriginal people. One serves the Seabird Island and neighboring First Nations communities, while the other serves an urban Aboriginal community at Kla-how-eya in Surrey.

The Primary Health Clinic located in Surrey at the Kla-how-eya Healing Place provides culturally safe and holistic primary health care services for urban Aboriginal clients without regular primary care providers, or for those who use walk-in clinics or emergency departments for primary care needs.

Mental Health and Substance Use Services

Supporting Aboriginal people in hospital and community

Fraser Health currently has staff called Aboriginal mental health and patient liaisons, who help with connecting and supporting Aboriginal people, their families, and mental health staff to provide Aboriginal cultural appropriate services. Learn more about the services here.

Dental Care

Services for Aboriginal people are offered both on and off reserve

Dental prevention services for Aboriginal people are offered both on and off reserve throughout Fraser Health in rural and urban settings. The Health Promotion & Prevention Dental teams work in collaboration with community health teams to strengthen relationships and build community capacity among Aboriginal communities to ultimately prevent dental disease.

The Dental teams assist families in reducing barriers in accessing dental care through outreach dental clinics offered every three months in Aboriginal communities such as Katzie First Nation and Kwantlen First Nation, as well as  in urban settings at the Kla-how-eya Healing Place Primary Health Clinic.

Have questions about benefit types and coverage? View benefits information here.

Aboriginal Health Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Workshops

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) workshops are held each year to present an innovative understanding of FASD that calls for more holistic and integrated approaches that consider all facets of the person – physical, developmental, and cognitive.

According to Malbin, if FASD is viewed as a physical disability (e.g. brain damage from prenatal exposure to alcohol/drugs) and the primary symptoms are learning and other behavioral characteristics, then children with FASD would benefit from appropriate environmental accommodations (e.g., modifying timelines, providing alternative instructional strategies, or recognizing developmental rather than chronological age) in a similar manner to accommodations made for more traditional physical disabilities (e.g., wheelchairs and ramps for people with paralysis). The shift in focus is seeing behaviors as symptoms, rather than as things to be changed. The process of implementation is enhanced by recognizing personal, historical, cultural, intellectual, institutional, and fiscal issues associated with each child.

Tobacco Reduction Training

The Aboriginal population in BC has a disproportionately high rate of people who smoke as compared to BC’s population overall. This population comprises 8% of the smoking population, but only 3% of the general population. The government of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy goal is to create an environment that encourages and reinforces tobacco reduction activities in Aboriginal communities. 

Fraser Health provides Brief Intervention Training (BIT) sessions in Aboriginal communities. BIT sessions provide participants with the skills, knowledge and resources to be able to address tobacco dependence with clients in their community. Aboriginal tobacco resources, highlighting the difference between traditional tobacco and commercial tobacco, are provided in all BIT participant resource packs.  

Several Aboriginal BIT sessions were held this year at North Fraser Métis Association. Additionally, the BIT presentation was updated in terms of both content and images, to make it more culturally appropriate for Aboriginal audiences. The Tobacco Reduction team attends Aboriginal Health Improvement Committee meetings to increase awareness among Aboriginal communities of tobacco reduction services. Tobacco awareness activities have been held at the Stó:lo First Nation Health Fair and the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Workshop. Tobacco reduction coordinators have made visits to Kla-how-eya Healing Place Primary Health Clinic and Seabird Island First Nation promoting tobacco reduction. 

Any groups who would like Brief Intervention training in addressing tobacco dependence can contact: quitnow@fraserhealth.ca to arrange a session.

Aboriginal Health Resources

For more information regarding Aboriginal Health, email aboriginalhealth@fraserhealth.ca.

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