Thank you, Siksika, for joining us at this year’s Every Child Matters hockey game, and for celebrating this year’s theme of HOPE: Hope, Opportunity, Pathway, Empowerment, with a special focus on youth. Your support is truly what makes this event possible. Together we can create and support a hopeful future for our young people.
First Nations youth, and youth of all backgrounds are our collective future. Their hope is our hope. And when they are empowered with opportunities and pathways to pursue those opportunities, we all win.
The annual Every Child Matters hockey game is not just a sporting event, but a celebration of hope, unity, and commitment to the well-being of our youth. Of ALL of our youth.
“Yesterday was a fantastic day with Siksika Health and the Calgary Hitmen hockey team, it was the 4th year they worked together on the Every Child Matters game with the Moose Jaw Warriors. It was an outstanding success, a big shout out to both organizations for a truly inspiring day bring us hope and empowerment to all in attendances, huge turnout of people attended were. I spoke to the players again before the game, and bestowed two players with Blackfoot names in the dressing room. Butch Wolf Leg and Eldon Weasel Child did a phenomenal job doing the play by play in the broadcast booth again. I contributed with the colourful analyst at times very humorous; all three of us kept the people glued to their radios, very entertaining. Thank you all for your work. The dancers and singers were just sensational – wow it made us proud to be First Nations people. Years ago they tried to stop our songs and dances, but we’re still speaking our mother tongue and we’re still singing and dancing. Great job to all the volunteers.”~ Former Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman
Our friends and frequent collaborators Lacrossing Barriers were in Siksika on July 25th and 26th joining us for our youth day camp at the Deerfoot Sportsplex. Scott Godfrey brought along with him Max Neeson, Graydon Hogg and Adam Thistlethwaite from The University at Albany in New York. Along with the Lacrossing Barriers staff, they spent the afternoon with the kids playing and teaching the kids about lacrosse through drills and games. Dr. Pearl Yellow Old Woman-Healy also presented Scott with a gift, a ribbon shirt as a thank you for his contributions.
“So, the players coming with Lacrossing Barriers are from the University of Albany Great Danes. They’re a division one school. They have a very, very strong tradition of incorporating, the heritage, and culture of the creator’s game, the medicine game (Lacrosse). Their head coach is on the Haudenosaunee National team staff.”Scott Godfrey, Director, Lacrossing Barriers
Scott and Lacrossing Barriers have joined us here in Siksika many times over the past year and a half.
Siksika’s new state-of-the-art fitness facility will officially open to the public later this summer. Boasting brand new equipment there is nothing missing here to assist you on your fitness journey. The Deerfoot Athletic Club will be open to the public this summer in a trial period before the introduction of paid memberships. Please stay tuned to our website and social media feeds for pre-registration information. Gym access is restricted to ages 16+.
Hours of Operation
The Deerfoot Athletic Club will be open 7 days a week. Monday thru Friday users can expect the doors to be open from 7am to 10pm and on weekends from 10am to 6pm. Holiday hours are 12pm to 6pm. All hours are subject to change.
Please complete this form for use of the Deerfoot Athletic Club. Use of the Deerfoot Athletic Club is available free of charge for a limited time; further information regarding Deerfoot Athletic Club memberships will be shared once available.
There is no shortage of new and familiar equipment frequent gym goers will recognize, and for those who may be new to the gym don’t feel intimidated, names, photos, and eventually how-to videos will all be available to you.
Dumbbells (3lb to 80lb)
Bench Press (Traditional, Incline, Decline)
Assisted Chin-up & Dip Machine
Cable Machine (Seated, Standing, and Row)
Hip Thrust Machine
Seated Cable Leg Machines (Various)
Abdominal Cable Machines (Various)
Seated Arm & Shoulder Cable Machines (Various)
Seated Exercise Bikes
Seated or Standing Rowing Machine
Temperatures reaching 29 degrees Celsius combined with overnight lows near 14 degrees Celsius are expected. This heat will expand to portions of northern Alberta and likely continue into the weekend.
During periods of extreme heat, everyone is at an increased risk, including your pets. These conditions can increase heat related illness and increase the risk of fire and power outages.
We can all prepare for extreme heat by:
– Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids like water (about 1 cup for every 15-20 minutes that you’re in the heat). This the most important thing you can do to stay health and safe during a heat wave.
– Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion: feeling dizzy and light headed is a sign of heat stroke. Lack of sweating is also a sign of heat stroke, that could require a visit to the hospital.
– Limit exposure outdoors. Stock up on key supplies such as groceries, medications, and drinking water to avoid the need to take extra trips outside.
– Ensure you have extra cooling options by freezing ice or ice packs, and chill water in spray bottles so you can cool yourself down.
– Check that cooling appliances are in working order (fans, air conditioners) and have back-up options that don’t require power (i.e. cold washcloths).
– While its tempting to access public water ways such as the Bow River, please be mindful of the potential dangers of strong current, debris, and visibility as the spring runoff is still occurring.
Further tips can be found at alberta.ca/ExtremeHeat
Alberta’s government is proposing historical funding to strengthen the province’s primary health care system.
In an announcement on Tuesday February 21st, Minister of Health Jason Copping introduced a portion of the 2023 Alberta budget that is slated to include a record $2 billion dollars towards improving Indigenous and Alberta primary health care. The funding would be used for primary care networks, family doctors, as well as funding to strengthen and modernize primary health care, to name a few.
This announcements includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples so they have equitable access to culturally safe and appropriate primary health care services.
“Indigenous people today still encounter many challenges when it comes to equitable access to quality health care. As CEO of Siksika Health Services and a Siksika Nation member myself, I know that the right solutions come from within the community. These investments are an important step towards ensuring that culturally safe, primary health care services are designed and delivered by Indigenous Peoples.”Naa Taoyi Piita Wo Taan, Dr. Tyler White, CEO, Siksika Health Services and chair, MAPS Indigenous panel
The record level of funding proposed includes $243 million in new funding over three years to strengthen the primary care system throughout the province. As part of this new funding, Budget 2023, if passed, would provide $125 million for implementing recommendations from MAPS, $40 million to support PCNs under the AMA agreement and $27 million to PCNs to provide for an expected increase of patients attached to a primary care provider. In addition, $12 million will support IT systems designed to improve the continuity of care across the province.
The new funding for MAPS will help implement recommendations from MAPS strategic advisory and Indigenous panels, including a series of strategic activities with tangible outcomes. These actions will begin to address some of the long-standing challenges faced by all Albertans, including Indigenous Peoples when trying to access primary health care in Alberta.
“I am proud of the strategic advisory panel’s work to identify early opportunities to invest in Alberta’s primary health care system. These measures represent an important bridge to stabilize the primary health care system, support health care workers and ultimately provide better care to Albertans.”Dr. Janet Reynolds, co-chair, MAPS strategic advisory panel
Minister Copping expects the panels will present their completed reports this spring. In the meantime, the recommendations identifying the early investment opportunities will be posted on the MAPS website.
The final reports from the MAPS panels will serve as the framework for the future delivery of primary care in Alberta. With a renewed focus on Albertans’ primary care, the province’s overall health system will be less dependent on emergency care and hospitalizations and provide the care Albertans need when and where they need it. This focus on primary care will also bring about better health outcomes for Albertans.
Siksika Health Services now offers Siksika Nation members with a program to develop stress and anxiety resiliency.
Stress and anxiety have a major impact on our health and well-being. This program teaches simple techniques that helps people connect with their heart to manage stress and learn to regulate emotions.
Most people experience some feelings of stress and anxiety at some point, and that isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing. However, unmanaged stress and anxiety can start to interfere with your daily life and take a toll on your mental and physical health including:
Our Mental Health biofeedback specialist will work with clients to learn more about their daily life and establish goals of treatment. They will also help client to navigate and recognize any feelings or attitudes they would like to change and replace with new attitude.
If you are experiencing increase stress and anxiety symptoms in your life, we encourage you to book an appointment. Contact Maria Red Gun at 403-734-5660 to get started.
Siksika Health Services welcomed Dr. Deena Hinshaw to the Nation for a meeting with COVID-19 response staff and a Blackfoot naming ceremony on February 15.
Staff who were part of the Siksika Public Health COVID-19 response had the opportunity to share their stories and thank Dr. Hinshaw for her role in leading the province of Alberta’s public health response during the pandemic.
In recognition of her selfless role as Chief Medical Officer for Alberta, Siksika Health Services elected to honour Dr. Hinshaw with a Blackfoot naming ceremony.
Siksika Elder Clement Leather and Indian Residential School program coordinator Leanne Sleigh led the traditional ceremony, where she was given the name, Ksiistsikom’aakii which means Thunder Woman.
In Siksikaitsitapi culture, the sound of Thunder brings the beginning of summer, where plants and life grow, and people are brought together for the Akokatssin— the most important times of the year for us.
We thank Dr. Hinshaw and everyone who did their part in protecting our community and Elders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Quintina Bearchief-Adolpho, PhD, R.Psych
Our programs are specifically designed for reconnecting the mind and body of our clients, taking trauma damaged neurologically disconnected clients, and bringing them back online again. Each of our programs are intentionally designed for this purpose, because “What fires together, wires together.” Boxing, martial arts, capoeira, yoga, and dancing are modified in our gym for reconnection of the mind and body. Although all the positive benefits of working out in the gym are still a real potential, our emphasis is drastically different, focusing on calming down the amygdala and igniting the limbic system and prefrontal cortex. The aim of the gym is less biological and more neurological.
The brain comes online in three distinct phases and in this order: first is the emotional brain, then the mapping brain, and finally the rational brain. In trauma, the brain goes offline in reverse order: first the rational brain, then the mapping brain, until people are left with only the emotional brain. When trauma reduces a person to the emotional brain, for an extended period of time, their threat detection system becomes overly sensitive. False signals misinterpret what is harmless as a threat. Trauma damage expresses itself in the inability to regulate and restore a person from a state of false threat to a state of peace.
Our gym is best understood as an intervention tool for mental health and affect regulation, but often gets mistaken for a run of the mill place for exercising. The long-held tradition of gym culture in the greater society and media makes our use as an intervention tool difficult to break free from the stereotype. Some common misconceptions reported of the purpose of our gym is to associate boxing with releasing pent-up frustrations, or as a tool to teach self-defense, or to associate a gym-setting with current societal trends of body shaping fads, etc. Using a gym as an intervention tool is a very new and an extremely effective concept. Although there are real physical benefits from practicing a gym culture, our emphasis is to restore the mind and body into rhythm; to prepare the individual for active reciprocity, first within themselves and their own body, then with others immediately around them, and finally into the greater society within which they live; something extremely difficult for people who suffer from trauma.
The way our gym works to reconnect the mind and body of our clients is by recruiting the emotional mind, mapping mind and rational mind to improve recovery time from threat detection to a state of rest, while remaining fully aware. We do this through our different programs, placing participants in conditions of an active and agitated state, and then restoring them to a state of calm and rest. This is done through modifications customized to fit the client’s ability and capacity. Regular activity of activation and relaxation on a repeated basis increases what is known as heart rate variability, giving the client the tool needed to regulate themselves, restoring calm, and providing a state of peace, thus allowing the mapping mind and rational mind to be restored. We have all experienced a fright in the night, only to find out that it was a misread of a shadow that looked like a person, or a stray cat or dog. In a healthy person, once they discover that there’s no real threat, their parasympathetic system kicks in to immediately calm down. However, a person suffering from trauma remains on high threat alert and cannot seem to calm down, remaining agitated and worried, despite the fact that the threat no longer exists. Their sympathetic nervous system remains on high alert long after the fright in the night is dispelled. The objective of trauma recovery is to get clients back into the rational mind and keep them there for as long as possible, if not indefinitely. In the rational mind they can calm down the threat response and generate a sensation of peace once again. That’s what our programs are designed to accomplish.”
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta visited Siksika Nation for a historic meeting with Siksika Nation and Siksika Health Services leadership, to expand upon their growing partnership, discuss potential solutions related to discrimination in healthcare, and share stories of lived experiences of racism and discrimination.
Who: College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Council & Staff
Siksika Nation Leadership: Chief Ouray Crowfoot & Council Representatives
Siksika Health Services Leadership: CEO, Dr. Tyler White & Team Leads
What: Inaugural visit of College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta to a First Nation
When: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Where: Siksika Piiksapi Memorial Arbor, Siksika First Nation
Address: Highway 901, Siksika Nation, Alberta
GPS: 50.849562684859876, -113.11434868405672
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) is on a journey of increasing their awareness and learning about Truth and Reconciliation in an effort to create culturally safe care spaces and improve health outcomes for Indigenous peoples. CPSA has been intentional about connecting with influential Indigenous physicians and community leaders that they can learn from and partner with as they build a framework together to promote culturally competent care across the province of Alberta.
In 2021 the CPSA welcomed Dr. Tyler White, Siksika Health Services’ CEO to the CPSA Council as an appointed public member. CPSA Council is comprised of elected regulated members and appointed public members. In 2021, the Albertan voice became more prominent on CPSA Council, as they moved to an equal composition of elected regulated members and appointed public members.
On May 3, 2022, Siksika Health Services (SHS) hosted CPSA in a day of culture sharing and the continued effort to lay down the foundation of a long relationship that hopes to build our healthcare system for all. The day featured stories and presentations from SHS, Siksika Chief & Council, and CPSA delegates. Anti-Indigenous racism, Siksika’s COVID-19 response, and potential solutions around discrimination in healthcare served as working themes.
The day wrapped with CPSA members touring Siksika Nation’s Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.
“CPSA is humbled and honoured to be invited to Siksika Nation today. This special gathering will further strengthen our relationship with Siksika Health Services, and we look forward to learning from the experience to enhance equity in health care.” ~ Stacey Strilchuk, CPSA Council President
“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in this very special and meaningful day. Our goal at CPSA is not just to listen, but to take action and hold ourselves accountable for our past and present role in addressing racism and discrimination in our healthcare system.” ~ Scott McLeod, CPSA Registrar
“We’re not looking for special treatment, we’re just looking for equitable treatment.” ~ Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation
“Who is being held accountable? Who will stand up for those who are being victimized? For those who are being mistreated? The answer is us. Siksika Nation.” ~ Councillor Sam Crowfoot on Indigenous peoples’ healthcare
In the coming months, CPSA and Siksika Health Services will continue to work together towards addressing and eliminating systemic racism within the healthcare system in Alberta, where it exists, and ensuring that Siksika members and all Indigenous peoples are provided culturally safe healthcare services.
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For information contact:
Ryan Running Rabbit
Communications, Siksika Health Services
Acting Director of Communications,
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta