In 2010, PHS launched Indigenous Health Services to address the social determinants of health.
PHS works with Indigenous harm reduction leaders in a movement called Culture Saves Lives to address the needs for cultural and spiritual care, reconnecting or helping people to connect for the first time to traditional, spiritual and cultural practices.
This combines culture and harm reduction with core programming that includes healing circles, smudging, drumming, singing, traditional dances, feasts, sweat lodge ceremonies, drum-making workshops, honouring ceremonies and memorials for Indigenous people. It includes access to Elders and traditional medicines, peer support and links to housing, nutrition and healthcare.
We are currently focusing on outreach. The Hub (1 East Hastings St.) is operating 10 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday. There is someone onsite to answer questions and give out coffee. The Culture Saves Lives team is drumming from the Hub and also outdoors in the community at various times and locations.