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N'doo'owe Binesi to Host Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event: Walking Together With Humility to Explore Pathways Forward to Address Indigenous Racism in the Health Sector

Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event
Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event

Date: 2024-03-18

Thunder Bay, ON - N'doo'owe Binesi is hosting a two-day gathering on March 18-19 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, focused on enhancing the healthcare experiences of Indigenous peoples. The Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event: Walking Together with Humility brings together Indigenous communities, healthcare providers, professionals, community agencies, organizations, and Indigenous groups to strategize pathways forward to improve health service delivery in a way that works for Indigenous peoples.

Created in 2018, N'doo'owe Binesi, the Indigenous Health division at St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG), has experienced incredible growth over the past two years. The division currently includes a team of 20 professionals to deliver cultural programs and services to clients and families at SJCG.

Diverse perspectives, experiences, and stories are expected to be shared by attendees that include Indigenous leaders in the healthcare field and knowledge keepers. The Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event: Walking Together with Humility strives to not only inspire conversations in the community but also develop solutions to help guide health systems in efforts that promote cultural safety.

"The history of healthcare in Canada includes the impacts of Indian hospitals as well as systemic racism, which continue to be barriers towards achieving equitable and responsive healthcare," states Paul Francis Jr., Vice President, N'doo'owe Binesi at St. Joseph's Care Group. "Improving health equity starts with gaining a better, shared understanding of Indigenous-specific racism. The Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event: Walking Together with Humility will focus on empowering diverse voices and perspectives to improve health equity and foster collaboration on how to deliver culturally inclusive healthcare."

The two-day event will feature esteemed speakers and presenters, including a keynote address from Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis, the renowned trailblazing Two-Spirit team on the Amazing Race Canada. The duo's compelling victory in Season 7 brought pivotal gender, sexuality, and Indigenous issues to the forefront of national consciousness, reshaping societal perceptions. Makokis is committed to his ancestor's vision of applying both Indigenous and Western medicine to the comprehensive care of Indigenous peoples.

Also on the agenda is storyteller and renowned Indigenous artist Isaac Murdoch from Serpent River First Nation, an advocate dedicated to Indigenous and Western community reconciliation, and Dr. Michael Anderson, the Indigenous Strategy Lead at the University Health Network. Anderson's presentation will explore the opportunities to enhance access to healthcare for Indigenous communities, showcasing strategies to overcome barriers, the importance of specialized programs in hospitals, and methods to integrate Indigenous cultural safety system-wide.

"Throughout our journey at N'doo'owe Binesi, it has become evident that continued expansion of Indigenous cultural education, the creation of welcoming and culturally safe environments, and recruitment of Indigenous staff can improve the healthcare experiences of Indigenous clients," says Andrew Koscielniak, Director of Indigenous Health at St. Joseph's Care Group. "Indigenous-led health transformation has a key role to play in the changes needed to address health service gaps, and ensure programs and services designed and delivered with the needs of Indigenous peoples and communities. The path forward is rooted in Anishinaabek culture, values, and traditions."

The Regional Indigenous Knowledge Gathering Event: Walking Together with Humility is part of Wiidosem Dabasendizowin Walking with Humility - a plan to develop relationships and practices with Indigenous peoples. The gathering takes place at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre on March 18 and 19 from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm.

Guided by the Ogichidaa Onaakonigewin Elder's Council, N'doo'owe Binesi is dedicated to ensuring cultural safety and sensitivity in the healthcare system. To learn more about the important work being done by N'doo'owe Binesi, please visit:

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