2021 National Indigenous Peoples Celebrations

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Thank you for joining us to celebrate the 2021 National Indigenous Peoples Day. Visit Alberta Health Services' Indigenous Health Program  to learn more.



On June 21, Canada will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.

First celebrated in 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples from across Canada.

This year, AHS Celebrated Resilience through Reconciliation by hosting online events throughout the month of June (see all the events here). Thank you to all who took part in the online events.



We encourage you to continue the celebration by sharing your images and stories of strength and resilience. You can also check out the presentations that were given here.

"My mask is called "In Spirit". I have chosen the base color as navy blue with an infinity symbol and beaded Métis flower designs representing Métis peoples. The tulips represent love for all my relations. Focusing on the beauty of nature and in life creates a positive mindset needed to endure our struggles. The mask is surrounded by colors of the medicine wheel in recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing.
"This mask is a reminder to return to your spirit, to your culture, your ceremonies, your traditions, your language and your relations to overcome daily challenges. In this way, we may find peace, hope and purpose."

Lisa L'Hirondelle, Métis Cree



On June 21, Canada will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.

First celebrated in 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples from across Canada.

This year, AHS Celebrated Resilience through Reconciliation by hosting online events throughout the month of June (see all the events here). Thank you to all who took part in the online events.



We encourage you to continue the celebration by sharing your images and stories of strength and resilience. You can also check out the presentations that were given here.

"My mask is called "In Spirit". I have chosen the base color as navy blue with an infinity symbol and beaded Métis flower designs representing Métis peoples. The tulips represent love for all my relations. Focusing on the beauty of nature and in life creates a positive mindset needed to endure our struggles. The mask is surrounded by colors of the medicine wheel in recognition of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing.
"This mask is a reminder to return to your spirit, to your culture, your ceremonies, your traditions, your language and your relations to overcome daily challenges. In this way, we may find peace, hope and purpose."

Lisa L'Hirondelle, Métis Cree

Thank you for joining us to celebrate the 2021 National Indigenous Peoples Day. Visit Alberta Health Services' Indigenous Health Program  to learn more.

  • August Zoom sessions with Elder Dale Awasis

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    Join Elder Dale Awasis for teachings throughout the month of August.

    To learn more, click here.

  • Share your images of strength & resilience

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    For National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, we invite Indigenous Peoples and Allies alike to share images honouring Indigenous culture and strength. Tell us what makes you proud, what you are learning, and let's celebrate together.

    Share your image of strength here.

  • Events this week: June 28 to June 30

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    Here's how we're celebrating this week. Please join us, and see the full events calendar here.

    Mon, June 28

    9:00 a.m.

    Opening Prayer Circle, Teachings and Song
    Mondays at 9:00 a.m.

    Start the week in a good way by joining us for a prayer led by Elder Dale Awasis.

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Celebrating a year of Walking, Talking and Learning Together in Cancer Care Alberta
    Chris Carriere, Project Manager, Cancer Care Alberta

    It has been a whole year since we started this Learning, Talking and Walking Together series. We’ll look back on the many sessions we have had and the growth in Indigenous cancer care over the last year.

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    The Indigenous Alberta Healthy Communities Approach:
    Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund
    Brenda Roland, Indigenous Integration Lead & Indigenous Community Team
    Prayer by Elder Thomas Durocher

    The ACPLF Indigenous Alberta Healthy Communities Approach is committed to support Alberta Indigenous communities to identify, plan, take action and evaluate priorities for cancer prevention and screening. This Approach focuses on helping to build communities that enable members and residents, through increased access to social and physical supports, to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

    Tues, June 29

    11:00 a.m.
    to 12:00 p.m.

    Update on the New Edmonton Hospital
    Tom Alston, Senior Project Director, New Edmonton Hospital

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Anti-Racism at AHS – Update and next steps
    Marni Panas, Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion

    On behalf of the Anti-Racism Advisory Group, AHS Diversity & Inclusion is proud to share about the journey of developing the AHS Anti-Racism position statement and provide an overview on anticipated next steps.

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    Circle of Life: Cancer prevention and support, a Friendship Centre Perspective
    Tessa Jourdain, Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA)

    Circle of Life was a two-year ANFCA initiative in partnership with Sagitawa Friendship Society (Peace River) and the Hinton Friendship Centre. The goal of the Circle of Life was to explore, develop and implement strategies where the cancer journey is self-determined by Indigenous peoples living in two Friendship Centre communities. This presentation will discuss project learnings and next steps in fostering an equitable cancer journey for urban Indigenous peoples.

    Wed, June 30

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Closing Ceremonies

  • Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park unveils cultural displays at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre

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    AHS is proud to partner with the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park to help create a culturally safe space at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre and the Elbow River Healing Lodge.


  • Added session - Summer Solstice Drumming & Singing

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    Join us tomorrow from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. as Elder Dale Awasis leads us in Summer Solstice Drumming and Singing.

    To join, click here.

  • June 21 - It's National Indigenous Peoples Day!

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    Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!

    First celebrated in 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Indigenous peoples.

    AHS is celebrating throughout the month of June, and we invite you to join us by:



  • Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Month

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    Throughout National Indigenous Peoples Month, we are celebrating the strength and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people by highlighting some great work taking place throughout the organization.

    One silver lining of the pandemic has been the development of some great partnerships between Indigenous communities/organizations and AHS that we hope to continue to foster into the future. While we know we have a lot of work to do yet, we have seen what is possible when we work together.

    Joining AHS CEO Dr. Verna Yiu today to discuss what they have learned and experienced while working with Indigenous peoples and communities throughout pandemic are:

    • Dr. Esther Tailfeathers, Senior Medical Director, Indigenous Wellness Core
    • Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist from Grande Prairie who is the newly appointed and first Indigenous President of the Canadian Medical Association.

    See more of Dr. Yiu's Weekly Vlogs here.

  • Events this week: June 21 to June 25

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    Here's how we're celebrating this week. Please join us, and see the full events calendar here.

    Mon, June 21

    NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY

    9:00 a.m.

    Opening Prayer Circle, Teachings and Song
    Mondays at 9:00 a.m.
    Start the week in a good way by joining us for a prayer led by Elder Dale Awasis.

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Introduction to the Indigenous Wellness Core
    Val Austen Wiebe, Senior Provincial Director, Indigenous Wellness Core, AHS
    Marty Landrie, Executive Director, Indigenous Wellness Core, AHS

    Join us for an overview of the AHS Indigenous Wellness Core (IWC). The IWC leadership will provide some background on the evolution of Indigenous Health at AHS, an overview of the IWC strategy, and the vision for the future.

    Tues, June 22

    9:00 a.m.
    to 10:00 a.m.

    Generational Impacts on Indigenous Health due to government Indian policy
    Dale Awasis, Awasisak Advisor, AHS

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Honouring Life Updates: Stardale Women’s Group presentation

    Throughout National Indigenous Peoples Celebration Month at Alberta Health Services a number of communities/organizations are presenting their innovative and inspiring work undertaken through the Honouring Life grant. We encourage you to attend these sessions to learn about the challenges and successes of these projects, the strength and wisdom of Indigenous ways of being in building resilient and strong youth, and how AHS can work with Indigenous communities through humility and commitment.

    Wed, June 23

    9:00 a.m.
    to 10:00 a.m.

    What is family? Looking through an Indigenous lens
    Dale Awasis, Awasisak Advisor, AHS

    11:00 a.m.
    to 12:00 p.m.

    Honouring Life Updates: Bonnyville Friendship Centre & Urban Society of Aboriginal Youth (USAY)

    Throughout National Indigenous Peoples Celebration Month at Alberta Health Services a number of communities/organizations are presenting their innovative and inspiring work undertaken through the Honouring Life grant. We encourage you to attend these sessions to learn about the challenges and successes of these projects, the strength and wisdom of Indigenous ways of being in building resilient and strong youth, and how AHS can work with Indigenous communities through humility and commitment.

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Land Acknowledgements
    Jamie Harmon, Health Promotion Facilitator, AHS

    Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Land Acknowledgements are a stepping-stone in the reconciliation process. This presentation provides a look at Land Acknowledgements through an Indigenous lens. We will talk about their significance, how to prepare one and the best way to present one. Some of the content may be emotionally triggering as we will be learning the truths of Indigenous history in Canada. These topics will include: Indian Residential Schools, 60’s Scoop, Indian Hospitals and how these historical events affected the Indigenous population.

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:30 p.m.

    Social Determinants and Indigenous Health
    Jennifer Mantha, Health Promotion Facilitator, AHS

    In this interactive workshop, we will discuss how the social determinants of health influence health and wellness, particularly as they relate to Indigenous Peoples in Canada. A historical view of how colonization shaped the determinants of Indigenous Peoples health will lead to an understanding of why inequities in the social determinants between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous populations exist today. We will also discuss how health indicators can be utilized to reveal health inequities stemming from deficiencies in the social determinants. Finally, we will discuss how Indigenous-specific social determinants, like self-determination, can positively affect Indigenous well-being.

    2:30 p.m.
    to 3:30 p.m.

    Indigenous Allyship
    Sondra Baker, Health Promotion Facilitator, AHS

    Delving into the world of allyship with an Indigenous lens. Find the answers to these questions and more: How can we transfer our well-meaning thoughts into actions? and how can we truly make a difference where it is needed? What is Allyship, and how can I be an Ally for the Indigenous community.

    Thurs, June 24

    9:00 a.m.
    to 10:00 a.m.

    Parenting for today
    Dale Awasis, Awasisak Advisor

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Honouring Life Update: Métis Calgary Family Services (MCFS)
    Throughout National Indigenous Peoples Celebration Month at Alberta Health Services a number of communities/organizations are presenting their innovative and inspiring work undertaken through the Honouring Life grant. We encourage you to attend these sessions to learn about the challenges and successes of these projects, the strength and wisdom of Indigenous ways of being in building resilient and strong youth, and how AHS can work with Indigenous communities through humility and commitment.

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    Honouring Life Update: Makai’sto Foundation
    Throughout National Indigenous Peoples Celebration Month at Alberta Health Services a number of communities/organizations are presenting their innovative and inspiring work undertaken through the Honouring Life grant. We encourage you to attend these sessions to learn about the challenges and successes of these projects, the strength and wisdom of Indigenous ways of being in building resilient and strong youth, and how AHS can work with Indigenous communities through humility and commitment.

    1:00 p.m.
    to 3:00 p.m.
    Summer Solstice Drumming and Singing
    Elder Dale Awasis

    2:00 p.m.
    to 3:00 p.m..

    Radon ReconciliACTION
    Kienan Williams, Assistant Scientific Director, Indigenous Health

    Reconciliation through discussions alone are just words; ReconciliACTION by leading through tangible activities with real world implications are positive steps forward. This project that tested 70 homes for radon gas in Samson Cree Nation in a collaboration led by Maskwacis Health Services with Alberta Health Services and Indigenous Services Canada.

    Fri, June 25

    9:00 a.m.
    to 10:00 a.m.

    Realities of on-reserve life
    Dale Awasis, Awasisak Advisor, AHS

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    MMIWG
    Joanna Gladue, Health Promotion Facilitator, AHS

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    Highlights & Closing Prayer
    Elder Emil Durocher

    Join us on Fridays as Elder Emil Durocher to share traditional teachings and ground us for the week along with and the Indigenous Wellness Core planning team to share highlights of the week, overview of what’s to come next week and announcement of the weekly winners of beautiful prizes donated by the Indigenous Wellness Core.

  • Hope & Healing Ceremony - a gift from Siksika Nation

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    Thank you to the Siksika Nation for gifting the Peter Lougheed Centre patients, families, physicians, staff and visitors with a ceremony of Hope and Healing on Thursday, June 3.

    https://youtu.be/SoKJUOJQuSQ

  • Events this week: June 7 - June 11

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    Here's how we're celebrating this week. Please join us, and see the full events calendar here.

    Mon, June 7

    9:00 a.m.

    Opening Prayer Circle, Teachings and Song
    Mondays at 9:00 a.m.

    Start the week in a good way by joining us for a prayer led by Elder Dale Awasis.

    Click here to join

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Quality of Care for First Nations Members in the Emergency Department
    Lea Bill, Executive Director, Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre
    Patrick McLane, Senior Researcher, Emergency SCN, AHS

    Emergency care services are an important health resource for First Nations persons. Working collaboratively with First Nations partners, academic researchers and health authority staff, this mixed-method study investigates First Nations emergency care in Alberta. In this presentation, we share qualitative results of interviews with physicians and nurses who work in emergency care, as well as results of ongoing analysis of health systems data. We provide recommendations for improving emergency care of First Nations members for individual healthcare providers, emergency departments and health systems.

    Click here to join

    Tues, June 8

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Unconscious Bias & its impact on Cultural Safety
    Karen Brooks, Senior Patient Engagement Consultant, AHS
    Randall Bell, Senior Advisor – Indigenous Populations, AHS

    The objectives of this session are to become aware of our own world views and biases. In this session, we learn about the relationship between bias and systemic forms of oppression (e.g. racism), and the importance of cultural safety for people who are different to you.

    Click here to join

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    Four Winds: Indigenous Patient Navigation Model (Methodology)
    Kienan Williams, Assistant Scientific Director, Indigenous Health,AHS

    This presentation will focus on the co-design methodology with Indigenous communities in the South Zone and the impact on the overall project implementation.

    Click here to join

    2:00 p.m.
    to 3:00 p.m.

    Little Wonders
    Presenter: Natalie Winn-Dempsey, Miskanwah
    Moderator: Lisa L’Hirondelle, Indigenous Hospital Liaison, AHS

    Little Wonders is a parented, early literacy, music and play program offering designed for families and their children from birth up to age 6 years old. This program has a distinctive rhythm and energy that perfectly captures the attention of young children and reflects traditional ways of connecting spiritually, socially and emotionally. Little Wonders is a program offering where parents & caregivers can delight in watching and interacting with their children in culturally rich environment. This program is offered throughout the year by the Tawaw Family Resource Network at Miskanawah.

    Click here to join
    Passcode: 690380

    Wed, June 9

    11:00 a.m.
    to 12:00 p.m

    Four Winds: Indigenous Patient Navigation Model (Nurse Perspective)
    Chloe Crosschild, Indigenous Patient Navigator, AHS

    This presentation will focus on implementing an Indigenous Patient Navigation service in the South Zone and be presented from the Indigenous nurse in the role.

    Click here to join

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    ESim Indigenous Health Project
    Simon Ross, Senior Advisor, Cultural Competency, AHS
    Click here to join



    Thurs, June 10

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Honouring Life Updates: Enoch Cree Nation
    Click here to join

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    Stories from South Zone: AHS Staff Highlights
    Click here to join



    Fri, June 11

    11:00 a.m.
    to 12:00 p.m.

    Supporting Indigenous Peoples in Continuing Care
    Orezy Imomoh, Lead, Provincial Seniors Health and Continuing Care, AHS

    Join us in learning how Alberta Health Services is working to improve the quality of care that Indigenous seniors receive from home care, in Designated Supportive Living and Long Term Care sites across the province. Providing quality care to Indigenous peoples involves supporting their individual physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional needs by working to provide culturally appropriate care that acknowledges their belief systems, background, history, community and experiences.

    Click here to join

    12:00 p.m.
    to 1:00 p.m.

    Inuit Culture
    Atsinak Bishop, Indigenous Cultural Helper, AHS
    Click here to join

    1:00 p.m.
    to 2:00 p.m.

    Highlights & Closing Prayer
    Elder Emil Durocher
    Click here to join