First Nations and Métis patients desiring traditional medicine supports and services now have easier access to information through the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
The Traditional Pathways Program was introduced at a ceremony today in Regina, and will be offered through SHA’s First Nations and Métis Health portfolio.
This unique, culturally responsive program acknowledges the practices and approaches of traditional medicine and its contribution to health and well-being. While not directly delivering this care, the SHA will provide information to patients wishing to access traditional medicine ways and direct them to a Medicine Person for support and service.
“This program responds to one of the eight health-related Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report,” said Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone. “Today’s announcement moves us further in our journey to address these Calls to Action through an open and respectful working relationship with our First Nations and Métis partners.”
In March 2019, SHA formally committed to working with First Nations and Métis partners on the eight health related Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report. Call to Action item number 22 states “We call upon those who can effect change within the Canadian health-care system to recognize the value of Aboriginal healing practices and use them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients in collaboration with Aboriginal healers and Elders where requested by Aboriginal patients.”
SHA is currently providing this service to anyone who requests it in the Regina area through First Nations and Métis Relations and will extend it to the rest of the province as the program expands.
At today’s event, SHA’s First Nations and Métis Health portfolio also officially received its spiritual name - Grey Wolf Lodge – bestowed by Medicine Man Darrel Bellegarde.
“This past summer, our First Nations and Métis Health team asked Medicine Man Darrel Bellegarde for a spiritual name to direct the Traditional Pathways program and all of the work of the portfolio,” said Gabe Lafond, SHA Executive Director of SHA First Nations and Métis Health. “Grey Wolf Lodge was spiritually given as the wolf is considered a protector the leader of the pack. The alpha wolf works with a pack of wolves of many colours to represent all the people of the world, including SHA employees and people seeking help through traditional pathways.”
Since its inception, SHA has been grounded in an inclusive culture grounded in values of Safety, Accountability, Respect, Collaboration and Compassion, and the commitment to a philosophy of Patient and Family Centred Care.