Between April 2019 and June 2020, the Department of Health sought out, with Métis Albertans to better understand what health is from a Métis perspective. The aim of this project was to better understand how Métis Albertans experience and define health and wellness.
Through this project, we learned health is about many things. Health involves physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. Health is affected by how we live and what we do.
Our community told us health is “when you’re balancing your mental, physical, and spiritual health” and “When you feel good in your mind, you feel good in your body.”
Métis Albertans have many shared experiences of health. Some of these include:
- Relationships are important to health and our sense of belonging.
- “Recognizing and celebrating community members is good for the health of the community.”
- Strengthening intergenerational relationships is important to many Métis Albertans.
- Being connected to the land or having access to nature are central to health.
- “Connecting to nature is joy – running in your bare feet across a lawn, sitting under a tree, hearing the birds and frogs in the Spring.”
- Social health is strengthened by participating in gatherings and cultural activities.
- Mental and emotional health are supported by laugher and a “positive mindset”.
- “Health is happiness.”
We asked Métis Albertans how they experience health. Here’s what we learned from more than 850 responses at the 2019 Annual General Assembly and an online survey: