Health Initiatives

Friendship Centres deliver a vast range of services and supports that move Aboriginal children and families along the continuum of wellness to a place of health and prosperity.

BCAAFC provides support and advocacy assistance for member Friendship Centres in their relationships with Regional Health Authorities, Ministry of Health and Health Canada and collaborates with other Aboriginal organizations to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal people in BC.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centre (BCAAFC) and First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) are proud to offer grant funding to pregnant Aboriginal women and families who live on or off-reserve in BC.

To qualify for this program either mother or father of the unborn child/infant must self-identify as Aboriginal to access doula services for prenatal, birth and postpartum supports.

The Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program is a family-focused/client-centered program to ensure our Aboriginal families receive the best possible doula supports possible. For more information or to apply please go to: Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program.

Other Maternal Child Health Resources

Safe Sleep Campaign: New safe infant sleep toolkit available - Honouring our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide

Vision and Hearing Screening: Identifying hearing loss early improves a baby’s ability to learn and interact with others. This Pamphlet illustrates the steps a family takes with their baby along the family care path.

Strong Women Strong Nations: Aboriginal Maternal Health in British Columbia


Canadian Partnership against Cancer (CPAC)

The “Living with Cancer: Everyone Deserves Support”, resource includes culturally appropriate and safe information on patient rights and navigating the cancer journey. The information is told through the stories of Indigenous cancer patients and their families who have gone through a cancer journey.

Open the Living With Cancer Booklet here

A key focus in the three-year project is to improve the continuity of cancer care in a culturally competent and safe manner for Aboriginal cancer patients, with a focus on rural and remote communities to ensure sustainable transformative change.The BCAAFC has partnered with the First Nations Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority, Metis Nation BC, and the BC Cancer Agency on a three year project. The aim of this project is to improve existing cancer care for Aboriginal peoples in the province and beyond; and not duplicate efforts or create parallel services.

The first phase of data collection for the CPAC project was successfully started at the 38th Annual BC Elders Gathering in Penticton this July. Elders and other attendees openly shared their cancer care journeys with project staff, a process that has yielded key insights at the outset of the project.

With 203 First Nations communities, 34 Métis Chartered Communities and a large urban and away from home (off-reserve) Aboriginal population, BC is home to diverse Aboriginal cultures and cancer care experiences. Through regional and province-wide engagement, the project will create a better understanding of the needs and opportunities, and will address gaps identified by developing relevant resources and tools within communities, for communities.

CPAC Video Links:


Mental Wellness and Substance Use

The First Nations Health Authority, BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and Metis Nation of BC are pleased to announce the release of A Path Forward: BC First Nations and Aboriginal People's Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten Year Plan.

This approach is the first of its kind designed in the province of BC to transform systems and improve capacity to better meet the needs of First Nations and Aboriginal infants, children, youth, adults and Elders. It was developed to address the need for a concentrated and coordinated effort in mobilizing resources, policy development, and the use of best practices to ensure First Nations and Aboriginal people in BC are served by effective, efficient, and empathic systems that honour the diversity of their customs, values, and beliefs.

This community-driven information provides a vision, guiding values, goals, and principles to support strategic directions and offers actions to guide planners over the next ten years. It aims to complement existing and enable new actions within mental wellness and substance use initiatives that are already functioning as 'promising practices' within each respective region, First Nation, Aboriginal community or health authority.

Read the approach here via ISSUU. Download the approach here: FNHA MWSU plan PDF (1.93 mb)

Tobacco Timeout Contest

“The First Nations Health Authority wants to be your partner during your quitting journey. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco is among the biggest actions any of us can take to improve our physical health. Within just a few days after quitting, your nerve endings will start to regrow, and other sensations will improve. Your sense of taste and smell will begin to return to normal as well!

We have received so many inspirational stories from those who are on their quitting journey. To be eligible to win one of two monthly $250 cash prizes, all you have to do is abstain from using commercial tobacco products for 24 hours. The Tobacco Timeout contest takes place the first Tuesday of every month. Join us for our next contest on July 4th!”  Read more...

FNHA’s Hope, Help and Healing Suicide Prevention Toolkit:

  • Aboriginal People Crisis Line 1-800-588-8717
  • Native Youth Crisis Hotline 1-877-209-1266
  • Online help at and

Suicide Preventions and Interventions:

Honoring your Life Network:

Suicide is the leading cause of death for First Nations people between the ages of 10 and 44

  • Suicide rates among First Nation, Inuit and Métis youth are between five and six times higher than the non-Aboriginal youth population.
  • Statistics show that 60 per cent of all Aboriginal people who attempt to and succeed in committing suicide are acutely intoxicated (drunk) at the time.
  • Each year, on average, 294 Canadian youths (15-24 year-olds) die from suicide, which is ¼ of all youth deaths

Download the fact sheet here.