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Expanding Aboriginal Health Knowledge in Communities and in Educating Future Health Care Professionals

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Leah May Walker and Lyana Patrick …

Leah May Walker and Lyana Patrick
Division of Aboriginal People’s Health

NAHO 2009 National Conference

Published in: Health & Medicine
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  • 1. Expanding Aboriginal Health Knowledge in Communities and in Educating Future Health Care Professionals Leah May Walker and Lyana Patrick Division of Aboriginal People’s Health NAHO Conference, Ottawa 2009
  • 2. Aboriginal Health Elective  A one-month immersion in Aboriginal health in Aboriginal communities for health science students teams  Students: Medicine, Pharmacy, Dietetics, Social Work, Nursing  Communities: Cowichan (Duncan); Seabird Island (Agassiz); Lil’wat (Mount Currie); Esketemc (Alkali Lake)
  • 3. Context  Aboriginal health status lower  Western/Aboriginal concepts of health at odds  Need for culturally competent health care providers  Impacts of colonization  Essentialism  Community aspirations
  • 4. Particulars  Students live together  Interprofessionalism  Clinical settings  Traditional settings  Aboriginal teachers, Elders  Community Curriclum  Community Projects
  • 5. Community Instructors
  • 6. Some Activities
  • 7. Community Project Examples  Mentorship Program for Youth  Re-think Your Drink  Healthy Homes: A Guide to Keeping Your Home Clean and Safe  Team Project: Building a pharmacy
  • 8. Culture Shock
  • 9. The real curriculum “Never underestimate the power of pizza”
  • 10. How can you adapt to meet the needs of the community?
  • 11. How can you build trusting relationships with Aboriginal people?
  • 12. Where do Aboriginal people feel comfortable?
  • 13. What do you know about this community, its history and current perspectives?
  • 14. Student Evaluations  “I have gained a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture, as well as how past experiences have impacted current issues facing the community today. I learned through careful listening of stories told, and I am grateful for the openness and honesty the community members brought to this experience.”  “This course should be mandatory for all students. I truly feel that it has given me insight into the depth and breadth of aboriginal culture. It also helped me to challenge my assumptions about aboriginal people and created more understanding.”  “The best learning opportunities for me were the sweat ceremony and the individual discussions and storytelling because I can learn more about the people this way.”
  • 15. Community Evaluations  “Can we hire some of these students? They were amazing.”  “It felt even better this year. The students were great and we were more confident about teaching. We have lots of ideas for next year.”
  • 16. Essential Elements  Personal relationships  Being in community and out of clinic  Knowledge of historical relationships  Being comfortable with discomfort  Long term commitment  University appointments  Reciprocity
  • 17. Thank you! Acknowledgements: Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre, Seabird Island Community Health Centre, Esketemc Health Centre, Mount Currie Health Centre, AHHRI, CPD-KT

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