This week the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle is once again hosting its annual event highlighting and honouring traditional indigenous foods.
Says Yvette Amor, the organization’s communication director, “Working together and building the pathways across different communities makes everybody stronger. It’s about sharing knowledge, it’s about communicating together. Even non-indigenous people are invited to come to our event.”
The two-day virtual event will take place on Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15, and will feature various guest speakers who will share their knowledge and wisdom on all aspects of traditional foods, diabetes wellness and indigenous holistic health.
The Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle, which has its head office in Thorold, was founded 24 years ago in an effort to combat the ways diabetes disproportionally affects indigenous people.
Says Amor, “Diabetes in indigenous communities (has) reached epidemic proportions and we have a very strong vision that the solution to this challenge is one that should be created by indigenous people for indigenous people. It’s affected by cultural trauma and colonialism. That’s why we take this holistic approach: body, mind, and spirit.”
The IDHC uses this three-pronged approach to provide education and wellness resources to indigenous communities all over Ontario.
“Under the body area we supply information for example about foot care. We provide foot care education and clinics, we subsidize programs and we provide self care kits. Under the mind we provide culturally appropriate wellness resources and we also certify front line health workers, so we’re raising the bar in terms of preparing people to service indigenous people. In the third component, spirit, we provide awareness and education so we do presentations and workshops and interactive healthy living activities.”
Amor says she thinks the world is finally starting to listen and engage with indigenous issues.
“I think this is the time of an indigenous renaissance around the world. People are starting to understand that the experiences of indigenous people are real and they need to be addressed. It’s a renaissance.”