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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Beauty for Ashes Program making an impact on the North Shore

November 7, 2017 -- Kelly Jeffords’ work has brought her familiarity with a number of residential treatment programs. The Mohwak Bay of Quinte woman who lives in Serpent River First Nation has hosted workshops and programs for many communities. When a group leader with Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services suggested that she take part in Maamwesying’s Beauty for Ashes program as a process of self-discovery, she accepted the offer.

“In life, there’s always a journey that we’re on. There comes a time when we should all revisit some of our past history and look at how it has impacted us as an adult,” said Kelly. “Beauty for Ashes is an intense residential program, but it takes place in a safe environment.”
Beauty for Ashes is a five-day residential program offered by Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services. The program helps patients address the effects of domestic violence, childhood trauma, and inter-generational trauma. The Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, formally announced the program in July, 2017.
The North East LHIN worked in partnership with Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services to develop the proposal for the Pain, Addiction, Mental Health within an Anishnawbek Recovery System Program of which Beauty for Ashes is a part. The program is being funded through The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Increased access to culturally appropriate care for Indigenous people in the Northeastern Ontario is part of the North East LHIN’s Aboriginal Health Care Reconciliation Action Plan, Within it are 25 calls to action that the NE LHIN is working to implement in partnership with the Indigenous partners across the NE LHIN. One of the calls to action relates to strengthening mental health and addictions services for Indigenous Northerners. Gloria Daybutch, Executive Director of Maamwesying, is a past chair of the Local Aboriginal Health Committee (LAHC) which worked alongside the NE LHIN to develop the plan.

“With the help of our Local Aboriginal Health Committee, we are working to improve the health and wellness of Indigenous Northerners,” said Kate Fyfe, Interim CEO of the NE LHIN. “At the same time, we are supporting culturally competency training for health services providers who receive NE LHIN funding so that we can achieve reconciliation and the elimination of health disparities.”

Kelly found her experience in Beauty for Ashes rewarding. After taking part as a participant, she then went through the leadership program to train as a facilitator. Kelly has been a group leader with Beauty for Ashes since April, 2017. Since then, she’s helped put staff through the program as participants, taken them through the training, and helped them shadow future clients. She’s impressed by the impact the program has on the participants who experience the program.

“The transformation I see within the participants is tremendous. My feeling is that the team itself will work within their own communities at a different level than they might have been able to otherwise. I think it is really profound for the staff members to also go through the program as participants,” said Kelly.

To learn more about Maamweysing North Shore Community Health Services, please visit:

- The NE LHIN’s Aboriginal Health Care Reconciliation Action Plan contains 25 calls to action that are geared towards improving health services for Indigenous people living in Northeastern Ontario and to improving health equity.
- Approximately 11% of people in the North East LHIN are Indigenous.
- The North East LHIN’s Local Aboriginal Health Committee (LAHC) provides advice on health service priorities within Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, urban, rural) communities. The LAHC and NE LHIN work collaboratively to identify targeted engagement activities on the specific needs of Indigenous populations.
- Based in Cutler, Maamweysing North Shore Community Health Services provides services to seven First Nations communities along the north shore of Lake Huron as well as to the urban Indigenous population of Sault Ste. Marie, representing about 15,500 First Nation and Metis people.
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