In 2008, Dr. Margot Latimer and Dr. Allen Finley of the IWK Health Centre Complex Pain Team noticed something startling; only an estimated 2 out of 800 children referred to the Centre in its 17-year history were Indigenous.
Since then, a team of First Nation community leaders, clinicians, Elders and researchers from the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University was formed and they began the UnPPAC (Understanding Pediatric Pain in Aboriginal Communities) project with First Nation community members. Participants shared their stories through art and conversation sessions. Researchers found consistent stories of First Nation children’s stoicism as well as a link between pain and hurt expression, assessment, and treatment.
The ACHH Initiative Logo
The ACHH Initiative logo is a representation of contemporary and traditional perspectives. Designed by Kayla Rudderham, NSCAD graduate and 2014 ACHH summer student, the colours are meant to reflect the 4 Indigenous medicine wheel colours-red, yellow, black and white. The dual motif image was adapted from the double curve, or Aboodalooak, which is often seen in Aboriginal artwork, carvings and symbolism. The double curve is a symbol of balance and alliances as well as a representation of plants and medicinal herbs. To our team, the dual motif represents a coming together of two perspectives for growth and healing. Further to this, the dual motif symbolizes a child-like spirit which reminds the team of our overall goal – to improve Aboriginal children’s health and well-being.