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Bell Let’s Talk donates $75K to Sudbury hospital foundation

The grant supports the health needs of Indigenous peoples through the Medicine Lodge
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Mshkikii Gamik (Medicine Lodge) at Health Sciences North. (Photo Supplied)

The Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund has donated $75,000 to the Health Sciences North (HSN) Foundation. 

The funding is to enhance opportunities at Mshkikii Gamik (Medicine Lodge), located at the main hospital site, to focus on the holistic health needs of Indigenous patients and their families through traditional health practices and hospital-based health care.

The Indigenous Health team at Health Sciences North said it is grateful for the generous funding from the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund to help revitalize Mshkikii Gamik. The Medicine Lodge is crucial to support holistic health, healing, and wellness for Indigenous Peoples, said a news release from the HSN Foundation.

Mshkikii Gamik is a collaborative space for helping people, and the Indigenous Health team said it is grateful for a gift that will facilitate the inclusion of spirit, enhance connections, foster understanding, and build our capacity for delivering culturally relevant and safe healthcare for Indigenous Peoples at Health Sciences North. 

Deanna Jones-Keeshig, Director of Indigenous Health and Indigenous Health Team at the hospital, said Mshkikii Gamik provides a culturally relevant and safe space for patients and families to access Indigenous knowledge keepers, traditional ceremonies and cultural practices to support healing, health and wellness.

"It also has a significant role in providing cultural education and knowledge to both Indigenous Peoples and Health Care providers to facilitate a continuum of care that is grounded in the cultural strengths and the generational resilience of Indigenous Peoples to improve health outcomes,” said Jones-Keeshig.

Bell Canada was pleased to provide the funding, said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk initiative.

“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to provide a $75,000 Diversity Fund grant to expand access to culturally relevant health supports and services for Indigenous patients through the Mshkikii Gamik (Medicine Lodge) at Health Sciences North," said Deacon. 

"The Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund supports a wide range of organizations that are taking action to create positive change for more Canadians in diverse communities around the country,” she added.

The donation is expected to enable HSN's Indigenous Health Team to strengthen long-standing relationships with the many Indigenous communities from across the region who access health

services at Health Sciences North, said Anthony Keating, President and Chief Development Officer of Foundations and Volunteer Services at Health Sciences North.

He said Bell’s commitment to supporting the health and well-being of the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis populations is greatly appreciated. Keating said the funding will go a long way to help our team respectfully engage with Indigenous peoples and provide a culturally safe environment during their health journey.