Medavie Partners with Indigenous Peoples to Support Healthy Communities

“Reconciliation must inspire Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to transform Canadian society so that our children and grandchildren can live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity on these lands we now share.” -Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report

In their final report, “…reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country.

It’s in this spirit — and in observation of Canada’s third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 — that we highlight the important work of our partnerships toward creating strong, healthy and vibrant First Nation communities.

Collaboration in Canada’s North

Mobile integrated health programs are helping people living in remote Indigenous communities across northern Ontario and Manitoba stay healthy and access care.

Using a team-based approach, Medavie Health Services paramedics are working alongside First Nations and Inuit Health Branch-employed nurses to provide patient care and consultation beyond hospital walls while assisting with local health care programs and surge capacity response.

Through ongoing collaboration with local community partners, opportunities are being created to further re-define the role of rural and remote health care to ensure greater access, stability and continuity of care.

“Paramedics are the boots on the ground, always thinking about the needs of the community. This kind of paramedicine is a direct example of how we can fill gaps in health care systems and really help people.”

Manon Timshel, Paramedic
EM AN Bat E El Ground
EM/ANB paramedics at the Eel Ground First Nation science fair in New Brunswick

Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund

The Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund (IPRF) is an Indigenous-led fund that is built upon the resiliency of Indigenous peoples to support Indigenous communities and organizations through and beyond the current global health crisis. Since IRPF was launched in 2020, more than 600 Indigenous communities and organizations have received support.

Medavie, through the Medavie Foundation, has made a three-year commitment to partner with IPRF that includes the transfer of $500,000 in capital to help build an enduring Indigenous-led charity and a more inclusive philanthropic community. Additionally, Medavie will continue to partner with IPRF in support of community projects that are responding to Indigenous community needs as well as advancing their long-term resilience.

Saskatoon Tribalhealth Bus
The Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus, which serves seven First Nation communities, at the Mistawasis Nehiyawak First Nation Pow Wow

Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus

The Saskatoon Tribal Health Bus serves the seven First Nation communities within the Saskatoon Tribal communities. Staffed and operated by Medavie Health Services (MHS) West paramedics, along with a dentist, dental assistant, and mental health addictions worker, the bus is helping to deliver direct access to care to over 15,000 people.

“These are the kind of innovative health care programs that are helping people living in rural, remote communities stay healthy and access care.”
- Matt Crossman, Vice President, Medavie Health Services

This mobile health clinic represents a partnership between the Saskatoon Tribal Council, MHS West, the province and the government of Saskatchewan

“Thanks to our sponsors, we were able to build a world-class health bus and we hope that it will put more of these on the road in our province and in our country.”
- Trent Sereda, Director, Synergy 8 Community Builders

National Truth and Reconciliation Day at Medavie

Orange Day t-shirt created by Dreamcatcher Promotions, a Manitoba-based, Indigenous-owned company
Orange Day t-shirt created by Dreamcatcher Promotions, a Manitoba-based, Indigenous-owned company

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of residential schools' tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts is an important part of the reconciliation process.

Between 1831 and 1998, 140 federally run Indian Residential Schools operated in Canada, the last school closing only 23 years ago. These schools forcibly took more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children aged 5 to 16 from their homes and communities. It is estimated that over 6,000 children died at these schools. The purpose of the residential schools was to separate Indigenous children from their families in order to strip them of their culture and traditions and to integrate them into Canadian society. These institutions have left survivors and their descendants with intergenerational trauma that is still felt today.

To honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that coincides with Orange Shirt Day, Medavie employees are encouraged to wear orange shirts in support of Dreamcatcher Promotions, an Indigenous-owned company located on the Swan Lake First Nation Urban Reserve in Manitoba. Left to right: Rachelle Cormier, Chantal Vautour, Danielle Legere, Kayla Tozer

Listening and Learning

At Medavie, we are marking this day with a series of events throughout the month of September, centred around the theme “Listening and Learning.”

Medavie has partnered with Dreamcatcher Promotions, an Indigenous-owned company located on the Swan Lake First Nation Urban Reserve in Manitoba. Through Dreamcatcher Promotions, we will offer employees the chance to purchase orange shirts to wear on September 30, Orange Shirt Day, to show that every child matters.

We can honour the children who survived residential schools and remember those who did not by actively listening to their stories and learning about their experiences, history and culture.”
- Jennifer Taylor, Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Medavie
Orange shirt day epaulettes
Medavie Health Services paramedics are wearing orange epaulettes to demonstrate allyship to Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Throughout the month, paramedics across our Medavie Health Services operations will wear orange epaulettes to demonstrate allyship to Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

In keeping with our month-long commemorative event’s theme, Medavie will hold two special all-employee presentations led by special keynote speakers, Eddy Robinson, an Aboriginal artist, activist and educator and, and Tommy Highway, an Aboriginal artist, author and musician. To further support employee learning, we will add relevant tools and materials to our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resource Centre.

Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.