What is WRHA Aboriginal Health Programs?
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Indigenous Health builds capacity within the Winnipeg health region to support the holistic needs of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people.
WRHA Indigenous Health works with Regional programs and facilities in helping identify, develop and implement culturally safe environments, practices and services.
WRHA Indigenous Health also provides a range of services for staff, community members, patients and patients’ families through its Patient Services, Workforce Development, Cultural Initiatives and Integration programs.
As of 2011, Manitoba had an Aboriginal* population of over 195,000 people, representing 16.7 per cent of all Manitobans. Winnipeg has the largest population of Aboriginal people in Canada with over 72,000 Aboriginal people residing within the city and making up 11 per cent of the city’s population. (NHS, 2011)
*Aboriginal as used in the National Household Survey is defined under the Constitution Act as First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples
In Canada, Indigenous peoples disproportionately experience disparities related to the social determinants of health. A key to addressing disparities such as these is to ensure universal coverage of adequate health services and realted programs. Addressing gaps in the health-care system is necessary to ensure that appropriate coverage is achieved.
Social determinants of health in an Indigenous context are often related to underlying causes of illness and disease, such as poverty, substandard housing, and barriers to education.
The work WRHA Indigenous Health does helps alleviate these gaps with regional programming, health services, cultural initiatives, and workforce development that is a more holistic and integrated approach within the Manitoba health system.
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority established its Aboriginal Health Strategy in 2001 with the implementation of two regional programs: Aboriginal Health Services and the Aboriginal Human Resources Initiative. In 2006, the two programs amalgamated to form one comprehensive program, Aboriginal Health Programs. In 2016, Aboriginal Health Programs changed its name to WRHA Indigenous Health.
WRHA Indigenous Health continued to grow and adapt to the needs of the Winnipeg health region and Aboriginal
population in an effort to increase cultural proficiency throughout the region and wellness for Aboriginal peoples. WRHA Aboriginal Health Programs was developed in collaboration with the Indigenous community.