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What are Aboriginal Health Access Centres

Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs) are Aboriginal community-led, primary health care organizations. They provide a combination of traditional healing, primary care, cultural programs, health promotion programs, community development initiatives, and social support services to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. There are currently ten AHACs in Ontario, providing services both on and off-reserve, in urban, rural and northern locations.

First announced in 1995, AHACs were closely modelled after Ontario’s Community Health Centres (CHCs), whose wide basket of services and supports had become the preferred mechanism to improve the health and well-being of communities in Ontario facing various barriers in accessing health care. In fact, two CHCs had already been established, one in Toronto and another in Timmins, with a mandate to apply this CHC model as the framework for services to local Aboriginal community members.

Ontario’s experience with CHCs, including these two Aboriginal CHCs — Anishnawbe Health Toronto CHC and Misiway Milopemahtesewin CHC in Timmins — provided strong evidence that such organizations could play a powerful role in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities throughout Ontario. Currently, there are three Aboriginal CHCs in Ontario: Anishnawbe Health Toronto, Misiway Milopemahtesewin in Timmins and Chigamik in Midland.

That’s why, in 1994, when the province implemented its Aboriginal Health Policy – developed in the largest ever consultation with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities – through the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, Aboriginal community-led primary health care was identified as a key pillar of the vision for the future. Beginning the following year, AHACs started to open their doors. By 2000, all ten were operational. And so were born Ontario’s Aboriginal Health Access Centres. Since then, AHACs have made a powerful contribution to health and wellbeing in Ontario, helping to bring tens of thousands of Aboriginal community members into the circle of care and support.

From clinical care to integrated chronic disease prevention and management, family-focused maternal/child health care, addictions counselling, traditional healing, mental health care, youth empowerment and other programs, AHACs continue to serve as a key entry point to overall family and community health and development.

From Alliance for Healthier Communities: https://www.allianceon.org/aboriginal-health-access-centres

If you are interested in learning more about Health Access Centres: 2015 Aboriginal Health Access Centres Report



Other Aboriginal Health Access Centres in Ontario

Thunder Bay Anishnawbe Mushkiki www.mushkiki.com
Kenora Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig www.wnhac.org
Hamilton & Brantford De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre www.aboriginalhealthcentre.com
Barrie Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Health Care Team No website
Cornwall Mohawk Council of Akwesasne www.akwesasne.ca
Cutler N’Mninoeyaa Health Access Centre www.mamaway.ca
Little Current Noojmowin Teg Health Centre www.noojmowin-teg.ca
Sudbury & Cochrane Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre www.skhc.ca
London, Muncey, Owen Sound & Windsor Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre www.soahac.on.ca
Ottawa Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health www.wabano.com