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  Fall 2009

Call for abstracts: Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress 2010


The Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress 2010 will be held in August 2010 in Whistler, B.C. Physicians, medical students, traditional health workers and other health professionals are invited to submit abstracts for workshops, papers and posters related to Indigenous health. Abstract submissions will be accepted by e-mail and fax until November 16, 2009 at 5 p.m. CST. For more information, visit the PRIDoC website or contact


Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case begins


In 2007, the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society filed a complaint with the federal government alleging Canada was racially discriminating against First Nations children by providing a lesser standard for First Nations child welfare funding. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal began hearing the case on September 14, 2009 and testimony will resume on November 16.  The tribunal comes at an important time—a year after the federal government’s official apology for residential schools that acknowledged, among other things, the damage done by separating First Nations children from their families. To become involved, sign up as a witness or write to the Prime Minister and the Hon. Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to let them know you are following the tribunal. Visit for more information.  


Health Nexus toolkit and training for preventing childhood obesity in Aboriginal communities


Health Nexus is developing a toolkit and training program to help prevent childhood obesity in Aboriginal communities. They are currently looking to recruit an Elder for the project’s advisory council as well as for volunteers to participate in a photo shoot and/or interviews in rural northern Ontario. Contact or visit the Health Nexus blog for more information.


Registration open for the 2009 NAHO national conference


The National Aboriginal Health Organization is hosting a national conference in Ottawa from November 24-26, 2009. The conference will bring together front-line health workers, community members, First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations, government departments, professional and paraprofessional associations, and academic institutions. The theme is Our People, Our Health. For more information visit:


NAHO’s Métis Centre launches Youth Identity Project


This summer, the National Aboriginal Health Organization’s Métis Centre asked Métis youth from across the country to showcase their performing talents on camera for the Métis Youth Expressions project. The project was developed to explore and celebrate contemporary Métis youth identity, Métis diversity, and to showcase Métis pride. A DVD featuring select performances will be distributed across the country in early 2010. Contact or visit Métis Youth Expressions for more information.   


NCCAH releases new document on FAS/FASD among Aboriginal peoples


The National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health has released a report examining the perception that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are more common among Aboriginal children than among non-Aboriginal children in Canada. The report points to several potential flaws about this belief, and highlights the many discrepancies between research estimates and the real-life experiences of Aboriginal communities. Author Mike Pacey suggests more research is needed, and suggests guidelines for future studies, including the need to examine socioeconomic status. Visit  for more information.


H1N1 Communications Protocol


In September, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Assembly of First Nations National Chief signed a Communications Protocol called Working Together on H1N1 Preparedness. The protocol is intended to ensure a coordinated approach to H1N1 Preparedness planning and communications for First Nations communities. For more information, visit


H1N1 –What Friendship Centres Can Do


In an effort to help individual friendship centres take precautions against H1N1, the National Association of Friendship Centres has released a set of guidelines called H1N1 –What Friendship Centres Can Do. The guidelines, adapted from resources available from the Public Health Agency of Canada, are a great example of how organizations can work to prepare for a possible outbreak. Visit to stay up-to-date on H1N1. Resources for clinicians and patients about H1N1 are also available on the Canadian Paediatric Society's website.

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