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40th BC Elders Gathering Draws Thousands to Celebrate First Nations Wisdom-Keepers

by pmnationtalk on July 13, 2016594 Views

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40th BC Elders Gathering Draws Thousands to Celebrate First Nations Wisdom-Keepers

For Immediate Release                                                         ​

(Coast Salish Territory – Vancouver) – Over 3,000 First Nations Elders and family members from across BC will gather on T’exelcemc traditional territory in Williams Lake for the 40th annual BC Elders Gathering July 11-14. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is a co-presenting sponsor of the Elders Gathering.

“It truly is an honour to for us to invest in this Gathering for the eighth consecutive year. We look forward to spending the next three days with our Elders, visiting and learning about their perspectives on health and wellness,” said Lydia Hwitsum, Board Chair of the FNHA. “We rely on our Elders as the foundations of our families and communities. We want to hear from Elders on how the FNHA can support your wellness journey.”

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This year Elders will be treated to the premiere screening of YouthSpeak, a short film amplifying the voices of youth to their Elders. YouthSpeak is the latest installment in an innovative decade-long intergenerational dialogue – the Elders-Youth Video project. Last year Elders sent a powerful message to First Nations youth with the: What would you say to your 20-year-old self? video.

FNHA will be hosting health screening again this year and all Elders are invited to attend for their regular check-up and focus on self-care. Other highlights this year will include keynote speeches by FNHA Board Chair Lydia Hwitsum and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Evan Adams.

“The importance of taking care of yourself cannot be overstated, and regular screenings are a key part of that self-care. This event gives us an opportunity to learn how we can deliver better health and wellness screening services to you and your communities,” said Dr. Adams.  “Elders have played – and continue to play – such an important role in the health and wellness of our communities. It’s more important than ever that Elders are supported to live long and healthy lives, and to provide guidance and support for the next generation.”

FNHA’s health screening will take place at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds July 12-13. This year the FNHA will be offering carbon monoxide assessments, injury and fall prevention assessments, kidney screening, oral health screening, and traditional/cultural support. The FNHA Engagement Fair will feature panel speakers and an opportunity to connect with FNHA staff on shaping our work in the areas of traditional medicines and end-of-life care.

This year the FNHA is asking Elders to share their vision of what cultural humility and cultural safety looks like within the BC health system as part of the #itstartswithme campaign for culturally safe health services in BC. More info on the campaign and how to pledge can be found at www.fnha.ca/culturalhumility. The FNHA is pleased to contribute $100​,000 this year as an anchor wellness event for First Nations Elders in BC.

For more information on the BC Elders Gathering visit us online: http://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/events/40th-annual-elders-gathering

The event can be livestreamed here:
Day 2
Day 3

Media Contact:

First Nations Health Authority
media@fnha.ca
604.831.4898​​

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