Aboriginal Health Services
On top of addressing health and wellness concerns, this program encourages healing through traditional, spiritual and cultural practices.
Get in Touch
Patrick, the program director is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm
Referrals are always welcome, and are accepted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to donate, you can do so below.
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is home to the largest population of First Nation people in Canada, and in 2010, PHS Community Services expanded to include the Aboriginal Services program in response to the disproportionate health disparities experienced by this group.
The primary goal of the Aboriginal Services program is to round out an individual’s medicine wheel in an attempt to facilitate holistic well-being.
Program services aim to address the needs associated with cultural and spiritual care by reconnecting or helping people to connect for the first time to traditional, spiritual and cultural practices. Culture Saves Lives, an incentive to advocate and reconnect people with their culture, is one of these programs.
The program provides services to approximately 80 to 100 people a week through weekly talking circles which begin and end with singing, drumming and a smudge ceremony, monthly sweat lodge ceremonies, drum making, weekly drumming circles, and other community and on-Reserve events and gatherings. By working from a supportive cultural framework, programming offers spaces where service users can come together to discuss the experiences and consequences of colonization and systemic racism and begin to develop wellness plans.
The program director is well connected to community Elders as well as other community programs and organizations and the Aboriginal Services program often acts as a bridging service, connecting community members to needed resources, or as an advocating body.
Honouring Elders DTES Pow Wow
We host an annual DTES Pow Wow, attended by about 1500 participants. The DTES Pow Wow gives First Nation community members an opportunity to connect and celebrate culture on a public stage, promoting both in-group bonding and community bridging. (2:28)