Opening Speech Delivered at the NW Aboriginal Health Conference
October 2011 - Maggie, Patsey, Co-chair
Preserving our past, Embracing our future!
Today we are embracing a new era of First Nation’s healthcare, incorporating our traditional healing and culture with modern healthcare.
Our nations speak of this change, Nisga'a, along with many other First Nation communities speak of these times as one of growth and development. We have also become professionally empowered. We are expanding our services, our delivery and our traditional representation in our healthcare. Our most important need is for spiritual empowerment.
Our communities are already in the time of transition. It will be a time of growth and development as the era blossoms. Our communities will continue to grow and prosper and we must all take our part in helping. It’s time for us to collectively step up and step out. The time is now.
Sharing and networking with our non-First Nation partners facilitates for awareness, understanding and compassion. It is equally as imperative to also heal ourselves and each other through compassion and respect.
Our traditional healing and cultures are powerful – with unique gifts that are far-reaching. As we continually preserve our traditions and embrace the future of change and development, we will surely create a healthcare that will meet the needs of our unique communities.
Our efforts of networking, growth, development and adversity are creating energy and change. Our capacity for networking has provided us gifts of empathy, understanding and the ability to see past surface levels. Our role as caretaker and nurturer has opened our hearts and awareness to many new levels.
It’s vitally important that we choose to heal ourselves and regain the understanding of our own unique gifts; to preserve our traditions and embrace the new technological age of development. It is up to each of us, our beliefs, and our own personal journey as how to best walk with it all. We will each find our unique way to walk with the changes and continue to succeed with our professions and organizations.
Take courage. You carry the teaching of a people who look to you for guidance. Be mindful of your walk. You are the ones we have been waiting for. It’s time!
NW Aboriginal Health Conference Final Report