Friendship Centres are improving health outcomes by offering critical community-based, culturally grounded health and social programs, strengthening community connection to Indigenous traditional health and healing, and supporting local partnerships and networks. The OFIFC builds upon this foundational work and advocates for improved access to, and determination over, health, mental health and traditional health practices for urban Indigenous communities.
Improving Indigenous health status and their access to services requires a grounded understanding of Indigenous health concepts. Aimed at moving the health care system towards equitable outcomes, this paper outlines Indigenous understandings of health through specific examples of Indigenous social determinants of health and presents Indigenous principles of performance measurement for the health sector.
As the province of Ontario moves to transform health service delivery, urban Indigenous people, service providers, and organisations need to have a clearly articulated and active role in the planning, design, delivery, and evaluation of health services and systems in their communities at all levels. In this paper, the OFIFC sets out recommendations that position Friendship Centres as engaged and active partners in health service delivery.
Friendship Centres strengthen the performance of the Ontario health care system by improving urban Indigenous patient experiences, supporting families and caregivers, addressing different health care needs, and relieving pressure on the health care system. This paper outlines the ways urban Indigenous communities and organisations must be engaged as partners in improving the provincial healthcare system.
Friendship Centres play a critical role in addressing food security, recognizing that food plays an essential role in community building, urban Indigenous cultural identity, resilience, and overall health. This paper explores the concept of cultural food security and recommends increased access to traditional foods and systems for urban Indigenous communities.