On August 20th, 2015, I had the honour of joining a Vancouver Coastal Health, First Nations Health Authority and First Nations Health Council delegation to visit three of the First Nations communities of Southern Stl'atl'mx. Travelling the 120 kms of bumpy forest service roads to reach our destination made me reflect on the difficulties that members of these communities face when accessing health services or simply buying groceries.
Our hosts received us with the warm hospitality that characterizes the proud Nations of Samahquam, Xa'xtsa and Skatin. We met families attending a summer camp where they learn more about their culture, traditional foods and medicines. We shared a meal around the fire in the longhouse and listened to traditional songs and dances. We talked with students about the health career opportunities awaiting for them in our organizations.
This visit brought to life the spirit of collaboration outlined in our Partnership Accord. It also signaled the commitment that our governance and operational leads have for improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal peoples living in the Vancouver Coastal region. Thank you once again to the Southern Stl'atl'mx Nations for welcoming us to your beautiful unceded territories.