Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories
Fort Good Hope, also known as the Charter Community of K’asho Got’ine, is a Sahtu region in the Northwest Territories 805 km North of Yellowknife, just South of the Arctic Circle, and upstream of where the magnificent Mackenzie River narrows into the Rampart Rapids. Fort Good Hope has 560 residents, primarily First Nations, with deep roots in fishing, hunting and trapping. It is also home to Our Lady of Good Hope Church, which is the oldest building in the Northwest Territories. It was built in 1865 with intricate detailing and is now a National Historic Site. Fort Good Hope is a fly in only community, except in the Winter, where residents can drive to Norman Wells on a Winter road through the Mackenzie Valley.
Queen’s Health Outreach established a partnership with Fort Good Hope in Spring 2018, making it our most recent Northern Initiative! Peer educators work with Chief T’Selehye School, the Sahtu Dene Council, the District Education Authority, and local leaders to create a health curriculum well suited to the community. QHO runs after school programming with the kids as well, such as nutritional cooking classes, and volunteers at many community events such as Cultural Camp, Sports Tournaments, and more. Fort Good Hope is a brand new partnership that will continue to accomplish great things as it grows. We are so thankful to the community for welcoming a new program with such open minds and hearts!
Fort Providence, Northwest Territories
Fort Providence is a a blissful, historic town on the banks of the big Mackenzie river and 315 km North East of Yellowknife. This hamlet is perched on the scenic north bank of the Mackenzie, not far from its source at Great Slave Lake. In the local Dene language, this community is called Zhahti Kųę – “the mission house” – after the mission, boarding school and orphanage that was founded here in the 1860s by Roman Catholic Oblates. A few years later, the Hudson Bay Company arrived, opening a trading post and bestowing it with the name “Fort Providence.” This community in the South Slave Region of the NorthWest Territories is home to approximately 750 residents.
We began our partnership with the community of Fort Providence in 2014, making it QHO’s newest northern initiative. In addition to working with the students and staff of Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary School, QHO also runs after school activities such as crafts and sports clubs. Highlights of past initiatives include collaborating with Play Around the World to host a variety of community outreach programming, participating in Outdoor Education camps, and working with mental health counsellors and community outreach coordinators. The close relationship that QHO has with the community allows for us to cover a diverse range of teaching topics, including sexual health, healthy relationships, puberty, physical health and gender identity.
Webequie First Nation is a growing Ojibway community located on the northern peninsula of Eastwood Island on Winisk Lake, 540 km north of the city of Thunder Bay. The community is home to over 600 people who originate from all over Northwestern Ontario, and enjoy a life that embraces traditional cultural practices. Webequie, pronounced Way-bih-quay, is an Ojibway word that means "shaking head from side to side". The name was received many years ago, and has a special meaning to the people who call this community home.
QHO began its partnership with the community of Webequie in 2011. In addition to working with the students and staff of Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre, QHO also runs after school activities such as crafts and sports clubs. One of our most successful events was a weekend Leadership Camp that focused on team dynamics, communication, trust and risk, leadership styles, conflict resolution, and planning for success. Some other highlights from past initiatives include the opportunity to present a Nutrition Booth at the Annual Career Fair and collaborating with WAHSA Distance Education during radio lectures.
Salluit (Inuktitut: ᓴᓪᓗᐃᑦ) is the second northernmost Inuit community in Quebec. Located on the Sugluk Inlet close to the Hudson Strait, Salluit is surrounded by high, rugged mountains, rising close to 500m in height. The rapidly growing community includes approximately 1241 members who speak a combination of Inuktitut, English and French.
QHO began its working relationship with the municipality of Salluit in 2008. In Salluit, QHO partners with school administration, local agencies and community members which help us to expand the initiative outside of the classroom. In addition to working with the students and staff of Pigiurvik primary school and Ikusik secondary school, QHO also works with clients of the Sapummivik Rehabilitation Center. Highlights from last year’s initiative include our partnership with the local Youth Centre to implement an after school reading program in both English and French.This collaboration led to a more meaningful bond between the Peer Educators and the students, as well as bringing fun to learning outside the classroom!
Pond Inlet, Nunavut
Pond Inlet/Mittitmatalik (Inuktitut: ᒥᑦᑎᒪᑕᓕᒃ) is a traditional Inuit community located on the northern tip of Baffin Island near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage. This hamlet is located in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut. It overlooks the Eclipse Sound and the mountains of Bylot Island and is conveniently close to both Tamaarvik Territorial Park and Sirmilik National Park. Mittimatalik is home to approximately 1617 people.
QHO began working with Pond Inlet in 2006. Since then, QHO has worked closely with community members, administration and teachers to develop engaging, culturally-relevant health programming for Ulaajuk Elementary School and Nasivvik Secondary School. In past years, we have been fortunate to partner with Nunavut Arctic College, nurses and health care workers, and community health representatives. The Pond Inlet Initiative is presently QHO Northern’s longest running initiative and has seen many successes over the years. Highlights from previous years include the establishment of a 30-hour leadership course for Senior High Students which focused on confidence building and the importance of being a good role model. The Health Center is an incredible resource in the community, and we have been lucky to collaborate with them in recent years. On Initiative, Peer Educators begin important conversations surrounding relevant health topics including nutrition, sexual health, mental health, and substances. We aim to empower and motivate the youth of Pond Inlet to have conversations about various health subjects and continue to act as leaders and role models in their community. We are very appreciative to the entire hamlet of Pond Inlet for continuously welcoming us into their home for the past decade.
Pickle Lake/Mishkeegogamang (1999-2016)
The Township of Pickle Lake is located at the end of highway 599 in Ontario and is Ontario’s last frontier. Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation is located about 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and about 30 km south of Pickle Lake, Ontario. These two communities are the most northerly towns in Ontario that have year-round road access. Just over 900 people live on Mishkeegogamang’s two reserves, while about 500 live off the reserve, either on Crown Land or in other communities. About two-thirds of the people in Mishkeegogamang speak and understand Ojibwe.
QHO began its relationship with Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation and the community of Pickle Lake in 1999. For many years our initiatives have worked in Missabay Community School in Mishkeegogamg and Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake. Over the years QHO worked to increase its presence in the communities by assisting at community events, organizing girls and boys nights, movie nights and sports days, and creating conversations about relevant health topics. After many prosperous years of collaboration, the Pickle Lake and Mishkeegogamang initiatives closed in 2016. QHO would like to send our most sincere gratitude to both communities for the hospitality they have shown us over the years. We are very grateful to the many community members who have opened their door for us and welcomed us with open arms and hearts.
Resolute, Nunavut (2006-2011)
Resolute (ᖃᐅᓱᐃᑦᑐᖅ) is an Inuit hamlet located on Cornwallis Island in Nunavut. It is situated at the northern end of Resolute Bay and the Northwest Passage and is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the territory. Known as 'Qausuittuq' in Inuktitut, it means the 'place with no dawn' because of the long winter night this far north. Resolute is the second most northerly community in Nunavut and Canada and is home to some of the greatest Inuit hunters in the world.
QHO began its partnership with Resolute in 2006 where Peer Educators taught at Qarmartalik School, teaching all grades from kindergarten to Grade 12. Peer Educators have hosted many successful initiatives with the students in this town including Empowerment Week (students worked on projects that aimed to care for and benefit the community), making video projects surrounding the topic of substance use, and creating “Did You Know?” health-related posters to be placed around the community. QHO participated in after school programs such as volleyball, movie nights, and began important conversations surrounding many diverse health topics including: respect, depression, nutrition, substance use, fitness, puberty, and more! After 6 successful years of partnership with Qarmartalik School, the Resolute Initiative was closed in 2011 after it was deemed that the community had a sustainable health education program successfully implemented and maintained. QHO would like to thank the community of Resolute for their hospitality over the years.
Kashechewan, Ontario (1997-2005)
Kashechewan First Nation is a Cree First Nation band government located near James Bay in Northern Ontario, Canada. Kashechewan First Nation is located close by along the north bank of the Albany River, and has an on reserve population of about 1700. The community is connected to other towns along the shore of James Bay by the seasonal ice road/winter road, linking it to the towns of Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, and Moosonee.
Our relationship with Kashechewan First Nation began in 1997 and successfully ran until 2005. Peer Educators hosted a variety of workshops at St. Andrew’s Elementary School and Francine J. Wesley Secondary School and within the community. Over the years, QHO successfully ran several CPR courses, hosted radio talk shows about healthy living and hosted weekly fitness classes. The goal of the Kashechewan First Nation Initiative was to begin implement programs that promote health and disease prevention, teach leadership skills to youth and work with local health coordinators to improve the overall health and wellness of the community. QHO was able to successfully start conversations surrounding diverse health-related topics including nutrition, diabetes prevention, hygiene, health relationships and sexual health. We are incredibly thankful to the community members of Kashechewan First Nation and to staff at St. Andrew’s Elementary and Francine J. Wesley Secondary Schools for their hospitality and generosity over the years.
Peawanuck, Ontario (1996-1999)
Peawanuck is a Cree community located in the Kenora District, Ontario. It is located near the confluence of the Winisk and Shamattawa rivers, about 35 km from the Winisk River's end in Hudson Bay. The community has a total population of approximately 237.
The Peawanuck Initiative began in 1996, making it QHO’s first ever Northern Initiative. It was closed in 1999. For its duration, volunteers travelled to the community to provide health education and hosted many workshops for the community on topics including nutrition, puberty, responsible sexuality, smoking, diabetes and healthy living. The goal of the Peawanuck Initiative was to provide the community with resources for health education on topics that they have deemed important. We are very grateful to the community of Peawanuck for welcoming us into their community.