Laura Bearskin, Assistant Executive Director
Nishiiyuu Miyupimaatisuiin is committed to transforming the way of life, health and wellness of Cree individuals, family and communities, inspired by traditional knowledge and culture, for the miyupimaatisiiun (well-being) of the Eeyou Nation.
Cree values and traditions were envisaged as key to the development of health and social service delivery systems in Section 14 of the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA), which was the basis for the creation of the Cree Health Board.
Orientation 8 of the 2004 Strategic Regional Plan of the CBHSSJB is to "provide integration for traditional approaches to medicine and social services (Cree Helping Methods)." This laid the foundation to develop Nishiiyuu Miyupimaatisiiun, and in 2011 resources were identified for pilots and development of the Nishiiyuu Strategic Five Year Plan for 2013–2018.
- To support Cree elder and community delivered programs.
- To support Cree community strategic plans, partnerships and collaborations.
- To support a regional Nishiiyuu Council to lead, advise and direct programs.
- To partner with the Council of Chishaayiyuu on the development of Nishiiyuu programs.
- To draft new legislation for Cree medicine key to the delivery of health and social services.
The Nishiiyuu program framework is built upon the knowledge and leadership of Cree elders, implemented by Cree communities, and actualized through Nishiiyuu community pilot projects. Central to Nishiiyuu programs is the conviction that nature and culture heals. Nishiiyuu will be elder and community driven in collaboration with Cree community partners and entities such as health, social services, education, etc. This past year 4 community models and pilot programs began development and program design in Chisasibi, Mistissini, Waswanipi and Whapmagoostui.
Over the next five years community-based Nishiiyuu programs will become available in every Cree community.