The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) advocates for the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental health of its member Nations. Our vision is healthy, safe, peaceful and prosperous communities that incorporate holistic approaches to diabetes care. As of 1999, diabetes was three to five times more prevalent in First Nations compared to the general population in Canada. AIAI believes that our young children and youth need to develop healthy lifestyles early on that they will carry into adulthood.
Our goal is to reduce the disproportionately high rates of type 2 diabetes in First Nations children, youth, pregnant women, and adults. Risk factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating patterns contribute to the increase in younger children developing type 2 diabetes.
We work to provide education on the complications and management of type 2 diabetes as well as the promotion of healthy lifestyles and diabetes prevention. AIAI respects and promotes the use of Traditional medicines to be used along with western and alternative methods.
The Trilateral First Nations Health Senior Officials Committee (through the Chiefs of Ontario) oversees the work of the Ontario First Nation Integrated Health Promotion Strategy (OFNHIPS). The OFNHIPS consists of representatives from AIAI, Chiefs of Ontario (COO), Union of Ontario Indians (UOI), Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Independent First Nations (IFN), Health Canada, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport. The mandate of this group is to address healthy eating, physical activity, and smoke-free community activities in order to reduce the incidence of chronic disease.
Activities and programs we have implemented through this committee include:
- Annual school physical activity challenge (Just Move It!)
- Food security funding/programs
- Training in a diabetes manual
- Education for frontline workers (i.e. FNTI Indigenous Community Diabetes Support)
- Sponsorship of frontline workers to attend the annual National Aboriginal Diabetes Association conference
- Collaboration with Sustain Ontario to provide input into the Ontario Food & Nutrition Strategy
Funding is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to the member Nations of AIAI for the creation of diabetes education and health promotion services for First Nations people living on-reserve. The Aboriginal Diabetes Education and Prevention/Promotion Project addresses the high rates of diabetes and its complications, and provides First Nations communities with opportunities to design, develop and participate in projects to address diabetes within their communities
Phone: 519.434.2761 ext. 231