Dakota Tipi First Nation is showcasing the many programs being offered at their Wellness Centre. Wellness worker Colin James says they gathered their programs together and introduced the community to all of them and explained what their Health Centre is all about. 

"We try to centralize our Dakota culture and offer what we can in all of our programs. We sit with the youth group and some of the different community members to see what they want. Our programs are community-led."

He notes they're reminding people that these services are in the community and they're trying their best to make things better for everyone.

Scott Thorsteinson, the Assistant Health Director, works with Land-Based programming, and explains they're working on language retention, cultural ceremony and how they fit into health wellness. It's a networking effort to show all with whom they collaborate. Dakota Ojibway Health Services is involved. He says they're finding the need for community members to do the work. Thorsteinson says rather than see larger organizations sending people there, they want to build it in their community, themselves. 

Maternal child health nurse Kayla Taylor is part of the current nursing team. 

"We have four nurses and a healthcare aide on our nursing team. We have a public health nurse, a home care coordinator nurse, and I'm the maternal child health nurse, and we have another nurse in home care. We each run our own programs, but we do work together as a team. We do help out in each other's different areas. I also run the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition program. I'm the coordinator and I mostly deal with children, pregnant moms, and kids up to about six years old. We work as a team. I help out in public health. I also help out in home care, we have around eight clients. In my program, personally, we have about ten clients. We offer a lot of different services: public health, we do immunizations, home care, and they do home visits with home care."

She notes her Maternal Child Health is a home visiting program, meeting with parents, children, and babies. She adds they also engage in Preschool Wellness Day when they offer different services for kids to come in and get preschool-ready. This includes occupational therapy, speech audiology, and speech pathology. 

"In some of our areas, we do struggle with getting clients engaged with some of our programs. Today is a very important day for all of our programs within the Health Centre, because it's opening up all of our different offices and areas for people to come out and see where we work in our spaces. We're trying to be welcoming to show people where we work and what we do; just trying to get more community involvement."

Taylor adds they need feedback from the community, too, while giving a lot of information about what they can provide for residents.

People came in and took tours of their various displays and offices and booths with information. 

She notes she's excited about plans to bring in more nurses. 

"When I started, we had 22 nurses and got a home care coordinator. We also had a nurse for the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative program, so we started adding to our nursing team and we didn't have any healthcare at the time, but we do have a full-time healthcare aide now. I think we're looking at hiring another part-time healthcare aide to help out. I think that we can only get better the more that we can provide. It seems like every year, there are more needs for more help and more support in our areas. We're looking at expanding a lot of programs." 

Taylor adds there is also more need for staff to work with recreation with elders. 

Stay posted for more news stories of Dakota Tipi First Nation's services for its community.