Waasnooden/Wawatay Project in Treaty #3 Addresses Diabetes Among Youth in Treaty #3 Region!
Waasnooden/Wawatay Project in Treaty #3 Addresses Diabetes
Among Youth in Treaty #3 Region!
Treaty #3 Region, Ontario –The Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC) is delighted to announce it has received a $300,000 grant to support its “Waasnooden/Wawatay (Wind Blowing/Northern Lights): Shining a light on diabetes prevention among Indigenous youth” project. The Lawson Foundation has committed to provide $100,000 annually over three years. The Kenora Chiefs Advisory (KCA) and Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre (WNHAC) are key partners in this important initiative.
“This project will reduce the impact of diabetes across generations by developing community capacity to educate, train and support awareness and prevention of Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes among youth. The project will also support youth to develop and maintain positive, culturally grounded health behaviours to be carried into their reproductive and parenting seasons of life” expressed Jessica Pace, Knowledge Program Manager, IDHC, and project lead.
This project focused on Indigenous youth specifically in the Treaty #3 region in Ontario will:
- Build community capacity by training Frontline Health Workers (FHWs) in diabetes awareness and prevention program development and facilitation;
- Develop networks among primary care providers, FHWs and youth in the Treaty #3 region, including those related to pregnancy planning, prenatal care, and parenting. The project will support relationship-building among FHWs, primary care providers, local organizations and youth;
- Gather together youth ambassadors and FHWs to co-create and deliver youth diabetes awareness programming. These programs will comprise culturally grounded diabetes prevention and care knowledge through sequential themed, facilitated workshops that bring youth and FHWs together to develop larger youth programming initiatives for the region. The outcome will be culturally grounded, youth-identified, peer-led and FHW supported programming and resources that provide continuity and extend reach.
The project will be evaluated at each stage to ensure effectiveness and best practices.
IDHC will lead the project in partnership with the KCA and the WNHAC, each of which are independently well positioned to support youth diabetes programming. All three organizations are Indigenous-led health organizations experienced in health promotion and community programming. In this collaboration, the collective capacity of the three organizations will be optimized and will allow for the provision of supports tailored specifically to local communities.
Project leadership includes health promotion, training, education and programming staff located at IDHC, KCA and WNHAC. The project team boasts diverse educational and professional backgrounds, including extensive health education experience. Project leads include:
- Sara Sayed will be the Project Coordinator representing the IDHC. Sara has a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology from Lakehead University and knowledge of health promotion strategies and population health and wellness. She looks forward to making her positive contribution to building capacity in Indigenous youth in the Treaty #3 region. Sara lives in Kenora and enjoys the Lake of the Woods and the altogether pristine environment.
- Jessica Pace is Knowledge Manager at IDHC. Jessica holds a PhD in the Anthropology of Health and is experienced in community-based, participatory research in Indigenous communities. Jessica has experience in academic, non-profit, and Indigenous community settings, and has strong knowledge of issues pertaining to Indigenous health, research, relationship building, training, and program development and implementation.
The teams at KCA and WNHAC consist of registered health promotion staff. AT KCA, staff includes Melissa Payne, Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian, and Madelaine Arseneault, Diabetes Educator, Registered Practical Nurse. At WNHAC, staff includes Katelyn Harris, Health Promotion Registered Practical Nurse.
The KCA/WNHAC teams are located in Treaty #3, and have insight into local context and relationships, including forging potential partnerships with the Sunset Country Family Health Team, local midwives and the Kenora area youth wellness hub with whom the KCA and WNHAC work closely.
The Board of Directors of the IDHC congratulates the team that worked so diligently to achieve this strategic grant and holds the highest confidence in the IDHC team and its partners that will lead and execute the project objectives.
About the Ogimaawabiitong Kenora Chiefs Advisory (KCA)
The KCA is an alliance of independent First Nations dedicated to providing culturally appropriate health and social services.
About the Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre (WNHAC)
The WNHAC is an Indigenous-led, community-driven primary health care organization that delivers comprehensive and wholistic services that balance traditional and contemporary practices encompassing mind, body, spirit and heart.
About the Lawson Foundation
The Lawson Foundation is a Canadian family foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people and organizations that contribute to the healthy development of children and youth. In addition to these areas of focus, the Foundation also supports selected initiatives that strengthen philanthropy and support the broader charitable and non-profit sector in Canada.
About the IDHC
The IDHC has 25 years of experience in Indigenous diabetes health promotion, including training and program development. The IDHC delivers programs focusing on diabetes education, prevention and management in Indigenous communities in Ontario, both on and off reserve — serving First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. Facilitating community capacity building, building upon traditional strengths and supporting community-driven programming remain IDHC’s core focus.
For additional information, please contact:
Jessica Pace, Knowledge Program Manager
Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC)
T. 1-888-514-1370 C. 289-407-1033 E. Knowledge@idhc.life