Aboriginal women and children's access to health care services in rural and remote BC

Aboriginal people in Canada, like indigenous people around the world, continue to experience persistently lower health status than other populations. Although researchers are tracking these health outcomes, there is a lack of enough detailed information about the specific processes that prevent Aboriginal people from meeting their health needs, and how the health service delivery system facilitates or hinders meeting those needs. This is an especially important question for children in view of the significance of the early years for future health. Silvia Vilches is working directly with parents, primarily women, within an aboriginal on-reserve community, to explore what parents and caregivers see as priorities and opportunities for enhanced health and well-being in their communities. Her work will take into account the interactions between federal health care funding and provincial health care systems, the continuing impact of colonization on aboriginal communities, and the desire for aboriginal communities to determine and express their own needs. Research has shown that Aboriginal people want culturally appropriate, holistic community health services. This type of project-based investigation could lead to better models of health service delivery planning for rural and marginalized populations that matches community priorities.