Health Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

About Health Canada

Government of Canada Announces Continued Support of National Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative

News Release
2010-129
July 28, 2010
For immediate release

Backgrounder: Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (ADI)

LONG PLAIN FIRST NATION, MANITOBA - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced $110 million in funding over two years for the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (ADI) to continue addressing high rates of diabetes among Aboriginal people.

The ADI delivers culturally-relevant programs aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of diabetes, including diabetes awareness and screening, diabetes management and the promotion of healthy living and wellness.

"Our Government remains committed to reducing the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and its complications in Aboriginal people," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative supports a range of health promotion, prevention, screening and care activities that are community-based and culturally appropriate."

The renewed funding for the ADI will sustain initiatives in First Nations and Inuit communities and will focus on programming for children, youth, parents and families. It will also support the development of community-led food security plans to improve access to healthy foods, diabetes prevention in pre-pregnancy and pregnancy, and enhanced training for home and community care nurses on clinical practice guidelines and chronic disease management.

"By focusing on community-led diabetes prevention programming, the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative will help ensure First Nations receive information that is tailored to their needs and the unique situation of their communities," said Roger Augustine, Assembly of First Nations New Brunswick/PEI Regional Chief and diabetes portfolio lead.

"First Nations look forward to continued efforts to ensure the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative works in collaboration with other health programs to address real health needs across the regions and territories so our people can live stronger, healthier lives," said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, adding that diabetes is three to five times higher among First Nation citizens than other people in Canada.

Through the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Health Canada works in partnership with Tribal Councils, First Nations organizations, Inuit communities and groups, and provincial and territorial governments. The ADI encourages communities to address their individual needs, build on their strengths and draw on their traditions to help community members prevent and manage diabetes.

"This funding will enable First Nations to increase culturally relevant, healthy living supports in our communities," said Grand Chief Ron Evans, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. "It is a great step towards improving First Nations health and reducing diabetes through prevention, awareness and diabetes management. We know communities will benefit by continued support and funding. Healthier First Nations means healthier communities, by working together and taking preventive steps we can create a better future for all First Nations."

Community level activities funded through the ADI vary from one community to another and may include walking clubs, weight-loss groups, diabetes workshops, fitness classes, community kitchens and gardens and healthy school food policies.  The ADI encourages traditional activities, such as traditional food harvesting and preparation, canoeing, drumming, dancing and traditional games.

Building on a supportive network of over 300 trained community diabetes prevention workers in over 600 First Nations and Inuit communities, the renewed ADI will continue to support communities in becoming healthier. The Government of Canada remains concerned about the high rates of diabetes among Aboriginal people and promotes many ongoing projects that encourage healthy living for all Canadians.

For more information on Health Canada's Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative, please visit Health Canada's website.

-30-


Media Enquiries:
Jenny Van Alstyne
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public Enquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709