Why the Gathering?
Within Canada Indigenous persons living with a disability and their families are often challenged when seeking appropriate and necessary supports regarding their specific disability and health related need(s).
Competition for limited resources within communities; lack of information on available external resources including the process and requirements to access; jurisdictional and mandate issues; remoteness and experienced discrimination are only a few of the factors that contribute to the barriers faced by this important segment of our population.
Indigenous individuals and families living with a disability have become a marginalized group within an already marginalized population and the "invisible" members of the Canada's disability sector.
The frequency of disabilities among Indigenous Canadians (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) is conservatively estimated at twice that of the national rate or approximately 30%. Other research has suggested that the overall disability rates for Indigenous people in Canada is at approximately 32% and up to three times higher than the national rate within some age groups. It is also known that the prevalence of disabilities and the likelihood of becoming disabled within impoverished populations, such as the conditions seen within many Indigenous communities and racialized urban centres, are significantly higher than in populations that are not. In 2016, 80% of Canada’s First Nation communities (4 out of 5) had median incomes that fell below the poverty line (Stats Canada).
Between the years 2006 and 2016, the Indigenous population of Canada increased by 42.5 per cent to an overall population of 1,673,785. Understanding this and based on the 2016 demographics, we can conservatively estimate that there are over 500,000 (30%) Indigenous persons, of all ages, living with a disability within Canada.
Often, although improving, we see Indigenous organizations, communities, individuals, families and their support systems excluded or minimally involved in the planning for and delivery of disability and health related initiatives that impact our members lives. This is not only seen within the provincial and federal systems but within our own Indigenous communities as well. This minimal involvement leaves many within the feelings of being on the "outside looking in", unable to contribute to the design and direction of the very initiatives, programs and services that have and will impact their current and future disability and health related needs and well-being. Together we can make a change.
The BCANDS 2019 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering seeks to bring together a diverse representation of disability and health related stakeholders over a three day period to learn, inform, share, collaborate and create new and expanded partnerships to assist in addressing the barriers facing Indigenous individuals and families living with a disability. This includes community and organizational leadership, government representatives, individuals and families living with a disability, service providers and others, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
The BCANDS 2019 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering will be held in Victoria, British Columbia in March 2019, complimenting the 5th anniversary of the recognition and proclamation of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month which will occur in November 2019.
Help to make this a memorable and successful event through your planned attendance. Most importantly though, through your insight, knowledge and partnership, help to make a difference in the lives of many by assisting to eliminate the barriers facing these very important members of our communities, provinces / territories and our country.
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Click HERE to view Honouable Minster Carla Qualtrough's Click HERE to view Former Minster Michelle Stilwell's message at our last Gathering message to at our last Gathering
Click HERE to see a video of Victoria and the Victoria Conference Centre where the 2019 Gathering will be held
Thank you. We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 Gathering!
BCANDS wishes to respectfully acknowledge and thank the Coast Salish people whose traditional territory the 2019 Gathering will be held. We further wish to acknowledge and thank all organizations and persons, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, attending the 2019 Gathering!
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