The ministry promotes healthy Aboriginal communities through the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy.
Three symbols make up the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy logo.
- The turtle represents Turtle Island. This is Mother Earth.
- The people are holding hands. This means they will help each other with their problems.
- They are standing in a circle. This is the circle of life. The people are our friends, families and strangers — people who need our help or who are helping us.
The Strategy combines traditional and mainstream programs and services to help improve Aboriginal health and reduce family violence.
These community-based programs and services are available to Aboriginal people living on-reserve and in urban and rural communities. They include:
- community wellness programs
- Aboriginal Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Program
- counselling to address mental and emotional issues
- crisis intervention services
- healing lodges
- health care, health promotion and education
- shelters and safe houses for women escaping domestic violence and their children
- pre and post-natal care
- substance-abuse treatment centres.
The Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy is a joint program between the Ontario government and First Nations and Aboriginal organizations. Five Ontario government ministries fund the strategy:
- Children and Youth Services
- Community and Social Services
- Health and Long-Term Care
- Aboriginal Affairs
- Ontario Women's Directorate
The success of the Strategy
Since it was launched in 1994, the strategy has had many successes both on and off reserve. It has:
- improved access to health care
- enhanced services to address family violence, and
- built the capacity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities within a holistic and culture-based framework.
In 2008/09, the strategy provided direct services to more than 42,000 clients. Over 450,000 community members took part in 17,971 community-based education and awareness activities sponsored by 360 projects.
Since its creation the strategy has:
- established a network of programs, including:
- ten Aboriginal Health Access Centres
- six healing lodges
- seven family shelters
- two family violence healing programs
- two outpatient hostels, and
- crisis intervention teams in 47 northern communities
- created more than 650 jobs and 460 community-based health and healing programs, and
- trained more than 1,000 staff yearly in health and social services.