Year: 2021 Source: [S.l.]: Author. [2020?]. 8 p. SIEC No: 20210356

BACKGROUND Mental health, substance use/addiction and violence (MSV) are important issues affecting the well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada during the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. In the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), a northern region of Alberta, the pandemic has presented unique challenges for diverse urban and rural Indigenous communities. The region is home to five First Nation communities (Mikisew Cree First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation, Fort McMurray First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation), and lies within the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Regions 1 and 51, and includes five Métis Locals located in Fort McMurray, Anzac, Fort Chipewyan, Fort McKay and Conklin. The collective intergenerational trauma of colonization, a recent natural disaster and forced relocation, inadequate access to health services and a culturally safe and responsive workforce, and the presence of COVID-19, has exacerbated impacts on mental health and trauma among Indigenous residents and communities in the region.

Community-based service organizations in the region are struggling to find ways to maintain delivery of MSV services and programs to Indigenous and rural communities throughout the pandemic. To address the impacts of pandemic-related service interruptions, cross-sectoral collaboration is key to maintain access to needed MSV services and programs, and support integrated, Indigenous-focused care during the pandemic and beyond. A strength of our proposal is our team’s long-standing partnerships with Indigenous organizations and the health and social care sector in the RMWB.