About

Aboriginal children and families are often misunderstood and mistreated by health care professionals – an issue at the heart of the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt & Healing Initiative (ACHH Initiative). The ACHH Initiative is working with communities and clinicians to bridge the gap in our understanding of Aboriginal children’s pain and hurt. We hope to design tools for culturally appropriate communication and treatment.

Who are the Aboriginal People of Canada?

The term ‘Aboriginal’ is an inclusive term referring to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Each unique group has distinct histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.  Aboriginal people represent 4% of the Canadian population. Aboriginal children have higher reported rates of dental pain, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), headaches, injury, musculoskeletal pain, and chest pain; yet they are less likely to be treated for these things.

Solutions begin with learning

Through research and strong community partnerships, we are finding answers.  The ACHH Initiative looks to find out how Aboriginal people convey their pain, while also collecting and sharing valuable, Indigenous healing knowledge and self-care practices, like smudging and prayer.

Who are we?

We are a broad partnership, consisting of Mi’kmaki community leaders, clinicians, Elders, youth, researchers from Dalhousie University, the IWK Health Centre and many more. Find out more about our team.

Find out more

Check out our News & Events section to see what we’ve done so far!