Coastal First Nations members holding Nation-2-Nation gathering

Nuxalk Nation is hosting with Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai xais, and Haida among some of the participants

On August 13 through to August 17, 2019, the Nuxalk Nation is hosting the second annual Nation-2-Nation (N2N) gathering. This gathering brings together community members from neighbouring Nations (Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai xais) as well as eight other Nations from across BC to take up the conversations and work of community-led Indigenous health and wellbeing for individuals, families, communities across BC by community-based health teams.

Nuxalk Nation Health and Wellness is in partnership with: PHSA Youth Indigenous Wellness team, Young Warriors, BC Centre for Disease Control’s Chee Mamuk Program, Vancouver Coastal Health and members of 2018 Haida Gwaii N2N team.

“For the past seven months, we’ve been hard at work organizing and planning to welcome teams from 11 Nations and territories to take up conversations of how we can work to promote health and wellness in our communities” said Bert Snow, one of the local organizers. “What is totally unique and special about N2N is that it is community-led, based our traditional ways of organizing and is also is rooted to land-based healing, as a result we’ll be featuring and highlighting our beautiful Nuxalk territory and people.”

READ MORE: Feds and Coastal First Nations agree to better access to commercial fishing

N2N is based on existing and ongoing sustained relationships through train-the-trainer models and ways of working established through Chee Mamuk’s program, Around the Kitchen Table, a long standing and nationally accredited Indigenous women’s public health program in existence for 19 years, and Encouraging Strong Paths, Indigenous men’s public health program.

The design of the training works through issues that communities have identified through prior community engagements including: sexual health and mental health topics, mental well-being and self-care for care-givers, family and community; culture as intervention and addressing mental health and substance use (how to hold conversations in community, shortages and barriers to accessing services etc.).

Using traditional ways of working and being, there will be a men’s camp, a women’s camp, a youth camp and our Two-Spiritrelatives can join either camps or float between them. It is the intention that individuals, teams and families will benefit from this gathering through establishing connections, renewing past relationships that results in developing and strengthening of a natural support networks both at individual and at the same time community level.

“While the men and women are meeting, the youth will also be meeting and working on a Youth Showcase and Community Celebration at the Bella Coola Fair Grounds on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 7pm,”explained Nuxalkmc Jerilynn Webster (JB The First Lady), one of the facilitators of the youth programming. “Local food vendors will be on hand at 5:30pm to sell food.”

READ MORE: Feds and Heiltsuk First Nation sign $37M reconciliation agreement


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