Health Promotion

Métis Cookbook and Guide to Healthy Living

The Métis Cookbook and Guide to Healthy Living is a collection of recipes and stories from Métis across Canada. It also includes photographs, healthy living information reviewed by two dietitians, and tips on how to incorporate traditional Métis foods into a healthy lifestyle.  It embraces the past, present and future of food and culture in a diverse Métis world. 

Healthy Messages Project:  Evaluating the Relevance of Métis-specific Health Promotion Activities

In 2008-09, the Métis Centre partnered with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) to determine how to make health promotion activities and products more relevant to Métis.

The Healthy Messages project used focus groups to evaluate the cultural relevance—or as it is called in the health field “cultural competence”—and Métis specificity of current health promotion activities and services.  In both Ontario and British Columbia, this evaluation research tested different health promotion strategies.

In Ontario, Métis were asked to give their opinion on health programs, such as an educational video on diabetes, a community health centre and a healthy living cookbook. Both Métis women and men of differing ages and geographic areas were involved in the focus groups.

In British Columbia, Métis women were asked about the provincial government’s new promotional materials for the Healthy Choices in Pregnancy initiative, which is part of ActNowBC.  Specifically, women were asked to evaluate the pan-Aboriginal and Métis-specific health promotion messaging directed at the Métis population in British Columbia, as well as explore the idea of Métis specificity and cultural competency in the province.

The Healthy Messages project in British Columbia resulted in the Healthy Beginnings poster, which attempts to prioritize concepts of holistic well-being and the importance of community to family, while respecting the diverse nature of Métis.

Métis specificity and cultural competency are important because they look at whether the cultural needs of a particular group are being met.  For Métis, this means identifying specific needs that are unique from others and determining how to ensure those needs are met in a sensitive and effective way. Because these needs may differ depending on where some one lives, the Healthy Messages project will also be looking at potential regional differences between Métis who live in different parts of Canada.

The Métis Centre hopes to work with other Métis organizations to conduct similar health promotion evaluation studies in the future.