Visits to Quebec First Nations communities


Hi everyone!

I’ve been in Gesgapegiag and Mashteuiatsh several times since my last post.

Since May 2012, I have been travelling once a month to Gesgapegiag and once a month to Mashteuiatsh. These two First Nations are now working nearly for a year on their version of the intervention.

During the last months, we’ve been through revision and translation of questionnaires for youth and adults, the participating communities met a couple of times through Skype or conference call, and the sessions have been in progress in Mashteuiatsh since January. March 27th was their fourth session.

Gesgapegiag will soon end their adaptation of the intervention. All the material will be translated in Mig’ Maq, quite a job! Joanna Martin is undertaking this great work. Christiane Bernard made the poster above and also works on the adaptation.  The sessions in Gesgapegiag are scheduled to begin April 17th.

Teams are also in preparation for next summer’s trip. The host community will be taking care of the lodging, food and activities for the visiting community.

This experience is meaningful and very interesting. I feel privileged to accompany communities through this journey.


Audrey Vézina

Mental health adviser; FNQLHSSC.



Talking and eating

Swampy Cree/Manitoba PHAC project update

Here in Manitoba we are preparing for training and implementation of the program.

We are in the final stages of completing the formatting of our own Swampy Cree version of the manual (including translation of weekly session titles into the Cree language). We have had numerous sessions at which Swampy Cree community members and project liaisons have worked to adapt the manual for their culture and communities.

Swampy Cree community members reviewing manual for adaptation

Also we are gearing up for our Facilitator Training scheduled for February 11 and 12 in Winnipeg. We are still in the process of selecting 2 facilitators for each community (1 lead and 1 co-facilitator). We have developed job descriptions for each of these positions and will use a pseudo application process for selection of the facilitators. Our Cree Nation Tribal Health colleagues will review applications for final selection of the facilitators. We hope to train 3 individuals from each of the 8 Swampy Cree communities, so that there is some extra coverage should one of the hired facilitators not be able to continue.

One additional component that we have added to the program sessions is the inclusion of healthy recipes that facilitators and families can choose from when preparing the food for each session. Ms Christa Bruneau-Guenther, who is of Aboriginal descent and works with community groups in Winnipeg, has provided some recipes using Aboriginal ingredients, one of which is attached (lentil soup). Christa gave a presentation of her work at our recent Swampy Cree project annual meeting, which was well received by the Swampy Cree community members.

Christa Bruneau-Guenther sharing her passion and ideas about healthy cooking with traditional foods at the 5th annual Swampy Cree project meeting in Winnipeg.

We are looking forward to being able to train facilitators, recruit families and implement the program in the coming months in the Swampy Cree communities.

Corinne Isaak

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