Quality Health Services for Indigenous Peoples
SOAHAC’s purpose is to improve access to, and the quality of, health services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the spirit of partnership, mutual respect and sharing.
As an Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHAC), it provides innovative, Indigenous-informed health care through a combination of health and social services including:
- Traditional healing
- Primary health care
- Health promotion services
- Cultural programs
- Community development initiatives
- Social support services
to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in southwestern Ontario from Windsor to Waterloo Wellington and north to Owen Sound.
SOAHAC is part of a group of AHACs that were first announced in Ontario in 1995 in response to epidemic, systemic health disparities and inequities within the Aboriginal (now Indigenous) population across Ontario. AHACs operate from a wholistic Indigenous health framework which is often referred to by Indigenous people as “the good life” or as restoring the “good mind.” The framework focuses on the restoration and rebalancing of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of Indigenous people, families, communities and Nations, and understands “culture as treatment.”
The model of care recognizes Indigenous rights to determination in health, and Indigenous traditional healers and healing approaches, and blends them with culturally competent, western clinical practices in a comprehensive continuum of care from health promotion and prevention to treatment and rehabilitation. The model also recognizes the importance of the interconnectedness of individuals, families, Nations, environment and spirit world within our life support system.
A healthy balanced life through mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.
To empower Indigenous families and individuals to live a balanced state of well-being by sharing and promoting wholistic health practices.
SOAHAC’s culture will be most healthy if these values are intentionally lived out and reinforced on a regular basis:
- Respect for all
- Quality in health promotion and care
- Honouring all traditional values