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“From the Outside Looking In…” – British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society’s 2018 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering

by pmnationtalk on September 13, 2017332 Views

November 26th, 27th, 28th, 2018

Victoria Conference Centre – Victoria British Columbia – Canada

Why the Gathering?

Within Canada Indigenous persons living with a disability and their families are often challenged when seeking appropriate and necessary supports regarding their specific disability and health related need(s).

Competition for limited resources within communities; lack of information on available external resources including the process and requirements to access; jurisdictional and mandate issues; remoteness and experienced discrimination are only a few of the factors that contribute to the barriers faced by this important segment of our population.

Indigenous individuals and families living with a disability have become a marginalized group within an already marginalized population and the “invisible” members of the Canada’s disability sector.

The frequency of disabilities among Indigenous Canadians (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) is conservatively estimated at twice that of the national rate or approximately 30%. Other research has suggested that the overall disability rates for Indigenous people in Canada is at approximately 32% and up to three times higher than the national rate within some age groups. It is also known that the prevalence of disabilities and the likelihood of becoming disabled within impoverished populations, such as the conditions seen within many Indigenous communities and racialized urban centres, are significantly higher than in populations that are not.

Between the years 2006 and 2011, the Indigenous population of Canada increased by 20.1%. In 2011 the Indigenous population of Canada was documented at over 1,400,000. In British Columbia the Indigenous population in 2011 was recorded at 232,290.

Understanding this and based on the 2011 demographics, we can conservatively estimate that there are over 420,000 (30%) Indigenous persons, of all ages, living with a disability within Canada, and over 69,000 residing in British Columbia alone.

Often, although improving, we see Indigenous organizations, communities, individuals, families and their support systems excluded or minimally involved in the planning for and delivery of disability and health related initiatives that impact our members lives. This is not only seen within the provincial and federal systems but within our own Indigenous communities as well. This minimal involvement leaves many within the feelings of being on the “outside looking in”,unable to contribute to the design and direction of the very initiatives, programs and services  that have and will impact their current and future disability and health related needs and well-being.  Together we can make a change.

The BCANDS 2018 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering seeks to bring together a diverse representation of disability and health related stakeholders over a three day period to learn, inform, share, collaborate and create new and expanded partnerships to assist in addressing the barriers facing Indigenous individuals and families living with a disability. This includes community and organizational leadership, government representatives, individuals and families living with a disability, service providers and others, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

The BCANDS 2018 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering will be held in Victoria, British Columbia in November 2018, complimenting the 4th anniversary of the recognition and proclamation of  Indigenous Disability Awareness Month within the province.

Click HERE to view the Assembly of First Nations Resolution of Support for the Gathering.

Help to make this a memorable and successful event through your planned attendance. Most importantly though, through your insight, knowledge and partnership, help to make a difference in the lives of many by assisting to eliminate the barriers facing  these very important members of our communities, provinces / territories and our country.



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