What does my community need to know about the Gathering Wisdom forum this year?
The Gathering Wisdom forum this year will feature discussions on health, mental health, and the social determinants of health. Based on feedback from the last Gathering Wisdom forum, it is important that there are opportunities to learn and contribute to the work of better health outcomes for First Nations in BC.
Gathering Wisdom IX will provide an opportunity for leaders and health and wellness leads to hear from the FNHA on health programs and services, learn more about promising practices from other communities across BC, discuss the role of health and healing in Nation rebuilding, and discuss new opportunities in the areas of mental health and the social determinants of health.
Most importantly, the Gathering Wisdom forum is an opportunity for leaders to discuss the direction of the social determinants of health strategy that the FNHC is leading.
Will there be a decision at the Gathering Wisdom forum this year?
Based on discussions with leaders at the Regional Caucuses in the fall, the FNHC has heard that communities need more time to talk about the direction of this work before making a province-wide decision. The upcoming Regional Caucuses will provide time for leaders to discuss the future direction of the FNHC and any future decisions that may need to be made related to work within the social determinants of health. At this year’s Gathering Wisdom forum, Chiefs will be asked to provide direction on the work within the social determinants of health.
Why is it important that Chiefs attend the Gathering Wisdom forum?
As decision-makers, it is important that Chiefs have information to support the health and wellness work they do in community. The Gathering Wisdom forum is an important part of the health governance process. It is an opportunity to provide Chiefs with an update on progress and discuss future directions for the health governance structure that we as BC First Nations have established.
While there may be no province-wide decision to make at Gathering Wisdom this year, the FNHC is asking for leadership direction on work within the social determinants of health. There will be keynote presentations on Nation rebuilding and opportunities for leadership dialogue throughout the three-day forum.
Can I meet with the FNHA on health programs?
Yes. There will be multiple opportunities to talk with the FNHA throughout the three-day forum. We will be hosting a series of information sessions to ensure communities get the information they need on health programs. In addition, we will ensure senior representatives of the FNHA are available to meet with leaders and health leads on the specific interests of their community. More information will be made available on this in the coming month.
Who is invited to attend?
Similar to the Regional Caucuses, we are pleased to invite three (3) representatives from each BC First Nation community in BC. This includes:
- Political Lead (e.g. Chief or Proxy)
- Health Lead (e.g. Health Director, Community Health Representative, or Health Portfolio Holder on Council)
- Social Lead (e.g. Social Development Director, Social Development Worker, or Children and Family Worker)
It is up to each community to choose how they want to participate in the Gathering Wisdom forum this year within the three affiliations described above. Due to the nature and focus for this year, the participation of political representatives from each community is encouraged by the FNHC.
In addition, we are pleased to invite one (1) representative from the following:
- Delegated Aboriginal Agency
- First Nation Umbrella Health Provider
What is the ‘social lead’ category on registration?
As the discussion on the social determinants of health is broader than health services, we want to include representatives that have responsibility for health and social services in their community. A ‘social lead’ may include, but is not limited to, a band manager, social development director, social development worker, social worker, or children and family worker. These are examples – each community should select the most appropriate representative to attend for their community.
Will there be a regional procession?
Yes. We encourage all attendees to bring your drums and regalia to participate in the regional procession on the first day.
How do I register?
To register, visit here: https://www.regonline.ca/gatheringwisdomIX
Ensure to register by the deadline of Friday, April 27, 2018 at 11:59pm to guarantee your seat and that a hotel room is available. After this date, registration cannot be guaranteed.
How does my community get reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs?
Travel expense reimbursement forms can be downloaded from multiple locations during the online registration process. In addition, hard copy forms will be supplied onsite at the Forum near registration.
Will there be other activities throughout the three day forum?
Yes. There will be a variety of Wellness Services open to all invited delegates to access. Potential services include traditional and cultural practices such as cedar brushing and smudging. In addition, a limited number of Artisan Vendors will be onsite offering products for sale.