Representatives from over 20 partner organizations of the Niagara Ontario Health Team – Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara (NOHT-ÉSON) were gifted Pendleton blankets today on behalf of the Indigenous Health Network.
The Blanket Gifting took place at Hospice Niagara and was guided by Wendy Sturgeon, Executive Director of the Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc., and Elaine Berwald, Indigenous Cultural Advisor Liaison for Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc.
Each representative was gifted with and wrapped in a Pendleton blanket. The blankets have a deeply woven history with Indigenous Peoples and are integral in many systems and practices with profound and diverse cultural significance.
The gift of a blanket has important meaning for NOHT-ÉSON partners and will be treasured. The blanket is symbolic as a treaty blanket, representing a commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully with Indigenous Peoples in Niagara to improve access to care. It is also an acknowledgment of the partners’ work toward reconciliation, and understanding the barriers to health and wellbeing outcomes for Indigenous Peoples.
The NOHT-ÉSON wishes to thank the Indigenous Health Network and Wendy and Elaine in particular for their teachings and gift of the blankets. A second Blanket Gifting opportunity for those who were unable to attend will be planned for the fall.