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Indigenous Engagement

Reaching health equity for all is particularly important within Indigenous communities and peoples who have a unique and complex history. Indigenous people's experiences of colonialization have contributed unjustly to poorer population health outcomes than that of other Ontarians.

The report Creating Our Way Forward: Recommendations for Improving Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services' Indigenous Engagement 2019 written by Kelly Fran Davis in collaboration with local Indigenous organizations:

  • Looks at the gaps in current programs and services
  • Explores how to improve collaboration between local Indigenous organizations and local health organizations
  • Provides actionable recommendations on how to implement the calls to action of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Indigenous history in Niagara

The Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe are the local Indigenous Peoples of Niagara region. The oldest known treaty between Europeans and the local Indigenous peoples included the land we now call Niagara.

In 1613, the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee created an agreement known as the Two Row Wampum, with two purple rows surrounded by three white rows. One purple row represents the ship of the Dutch. The other purple row is the Haudenosaunee canoe. Each row is travelling down the river of life side by side, neither attempting to steer the other's vessel. The three white rows represent three principles to solidify the treaty: friendship and peace between the two people in an agreement that will last forever.

Local Indigenous organization websites

Learn about the different Indigenous organizations in Niagara and check out the programs and services they offer. You can also sign up for their newsletters and attend local events.

Indigenous history docuseries

The Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre produced a docuseries highlighting Indigenous history in Niagara. Together, they're less than an hour long

  • Part 1 focuses on how life was before contact with settlers and the Indigenous contributions to the War of 1812
  • Part 2 looks at the tragedies of the residential school system, the 60's Scoop, and the Millennial Scoop, and their impacts on Indigenous peoples and communities in the present
  • Part 3 discusses racism in Canada today and how the community is healing with all the trauma they have experienced


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