• Kanesatake is recognized by the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) for its innovative breastfeeding project
Dec 03, 2018

Last November in Banff, Alberta, at the eighth Annual First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) National Conference, the Kanesatake Health Centre received praise for the innovative nature of its program aiming to promote, protect and promote breastfeeding called “Laying the Foundation of a Healthy Community”.

Through this program, in 2013, the health centre obtained the “Baby-Friendly” accreditation from the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), thus becoming the first First Nations health centre in North America to receive this distinction. Recognized globally, the Baby-Friendly Initiative aims to create care environments where breastfeeding is the norm while ensuring that every child gets the best start in life.

As part of this project, several tools were developed, including a step-by-step breastfeeding guide, interactive tools and a video, all of which are designed for First Nations, Inuit and Métis families. The implementation of this program has made it possible to increase breastfeeding initiation rates from 72% to 100% over a five-year period in the Mohawk community of Kanesatake. This success has indeed given the program increased visibility, which has attracted the interest of many provinces across Canada.

Two other innovations were also highlighted at the Annual FNHMA National Conference:

  1. The mobile clinic of the Blood Tribe community in Alberta

    Created in order to respond to the opioid crises in the community, this mobile clinic allows members to access care quickly while also significantly reducing the number of overdoses.

  2. The suicide prevention strategy of the First Nations in Saskatchewan

The significant increase in the suicide rate among First Nations in Saskatchewan between 2014 and 2015, which is 4.3 times higher than for the rest of the population, led to the development of a suicide prevention strategy for the First Nations in Saskatchewan.