Karen Kejick is leading health reforms and transformation to the region’s health system, as she works closely with Grand Council Treaty #3 to improve health outcomes in Indigenous communities in the area.

Kejick introduced herself and made her presentation to chiefs from across Treaty #3 last week in Eagle Lake First Nation, as the community hosted that annual Grand Council Treaty #3 National Fall Assembly.

“The movement that has been envisioned has been a long-time coming. I’m honoured to be a part of this. This will be spiritually-driven, with direction from our elders. There’s many health issues that we have in our region and in our communities.”

Of note, Kejick says that the region has lower-than-average infant mortality rates, high levels of diabetes, high levels of cancer, high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, high levels of childhood obesity, low birth weights, among others.

Kejick says that she will be meeting with chiefs and community members from across the territory to develop the new health system reforms, as she helps to develop and improve health laws for communities.

“The sharing of how healing practices impact our health is very important. We need to bring our healers and knowledge keepers together,” Kejick added.

Elder Fred Kelly is also involved in the health reforms for the area. At the assembly of chiefs, he spoke about his priorities in this new role. He hopes to see additional primary care workers in communities, increased cardiovascular health, increased mental health supports, and diabetes prevention efforts.

Kelly adds that he estimates that roughly 90 per cent of standard pharmaceutical medicines come from Indigenous culture.

Kejick, a member of Iskatewizaagegan First Nation, has worked closely with GCT3 for a number of years over a number of initiatives. She holds the title for being the youngest members elected to the Grand Council Treaty #3 Women’s Executive Council from 2009-2014.

In 2013, Kejick launched the green light strategy in the Treaty #3 territory. She was also heavily involved in the Not for Sale and Support our Survivors projects for the Treaty Three Police Service. Kejick represented missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at both the first and second national round-tables for the inquiry. 

Kejick also sat on the board of directions for the Kenora Sunset VCARS and the Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation. Earlier this year, she ran in the provincial race to be the MPP for Kenora Rainy-River, representing the Ontario Liberals.

For more information:
Fall assembly comes to a close

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