The University of Manitoba's Parkland Family Medicine training unit based in Dauphin / Prairie Mountain Health (PMH), along with Riding Mountain National Park Visitor Centre, offered a unique educational session on Thursday, July 29th.
The Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit is situated in Dauphin amongst a vast abundance of rich cultural communities, values and recognizes the importance of connecting with the local First Nations community to discuss health and wellness.
The day was facilitated by Prairie Mountain Health Regional Coordinator Indigenous Health Bonnie McKay and First Nation & Metis Health Liaison Duane Ironstand in beautiful Riding Mountain National Park, which is situated on Treaty 2, 4 and 1 land. Ingrid Gatin, Visitors Centre Manager welcomed our group who was the first event to be held in the newly renovated space of the RMNP Visitor Centre.
The day began with a Traditional Tobacco offering to Elder Roddy McKay who through storytelling and experiences of his life shared the many different aspects of First Nation’s healing system. He is a Cultural Support Worker from West Regional Treaty 2 & 4 Health Services. We learned of the importance of connections and to listen. A display of various herbs and natural medicines were identified along with sharing of culture and the importance of spirituality. “My experiences form the basis for my healing methods,” Elder Roddy McKay stated.
The afternoon session was a combination of academic and traditional learning. From hearing the different languages and through maps and timelines, we were able to see the vast area that PMH services are distributed. There is much success with PMH services such as the Mobile Clinic; and we have much more to do to improve and decrease the inequities of our First Nations populations.
Feedback from the group included: “a really good module and enjoyed the course”, “loved the opportunity to hear from an Elder”, and “what a beautiful renovation of the visitor centre and a great spot to learn”.
Michelle Jubenvill, Program Administrator
Parkland Unit, Department of Family Medicine, Dauphin