Media Release Agreement with The Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre (Council Fire) and the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC)

September 27, 2023

[Thorold, September 29, 2023] — The Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre (Council Fire) and the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC) are honoured to announce the signing of a strategic new Relationship Agreement. This Agreement breathes new life into an existing culturally sensitive partnership—ensuring continued, collaborative efforts to support Indigenous diabetes wellness.

This is a Relationship Agreement from an Indigenous Perspective
Council Fire and the IDHCHHh have combined in the spirit of Indigenous wellness and capacity building. The two organizations have formed a Relationship Agreement as a part of a next step towards healing. This Relationship Agreement recognizes the importance of culture-as-healing and embraces a wholistic approach to health care—embracing not only the physical—but also the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of wellness embodied within Indigenous ways of knowing and being. This Relationship Agreement is a fundamental part of the continuing journey of Indigenous diabetes wellness.

The Work Ahead
Council Fire and the IDHC have united with a commitment to transform Indigenous wellness pathways and to return Indigenous health to Indigenous hands. This relationship is rooted in culturally safe, mutually beneficial practices. The coming activities will identify priority areas to act as positive change toward closing gaps in health, wellness and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Culturally safe healthcare, informed by Indigenous Peoples is a cornerstone of Reconciliation.

Some of the Principles of the Relationship Agreement:

  • Common Vision
  • Cultural Safety
  • Capacity Building
  • Transformation
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Collective Voice

Both Council Fire and the IDHC deeply value the integrity of this Agreement and commit to placing Indigenous culture at the heart of their collaborative journey. They will work together to improve Indigenous health outcomes, remove barriers for clients on their respective health journeys, seek solutions to significant systemic issues and continuously evaluate the work ahead for the purpose of ongoing, positive transformation. The relationship will ensure appropriate representation on specific committees, working groups and government initiatives.

It is apropos that a meeting of key collaborators, and the relationship signing is planned for Friday, September 29, 2023 at the Indigenous Legacy Gathering in Toronto. This gathering truly honours and appreciates the rich diversity of Indigenous cultures. It is a celebration and an enlightening educational experience. Stories, teachings and the vibrant traditions of Indigenous

Peoples are shared and appreciated through workshops, presentations, dance, film, and music—truly a celebration of unity.

All are welcome to explore and celebrate the continuing journey of Indigenous diabetes wellness at the IDHC annual conference set for Thursday, October 26, 2023. The conference features diabetes wellness testimonials, and traditional teachings and trauma-informed healing information, an Indigenous canoe teaching and much more! Registration information is located at

About the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre:
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre is an autonomous, vibrant cultural agency that involves and serves the Indigenous community with confidence for and commitment to their well-being. Its mandate is to provide counseling, material assistance and other direct services to Indigenous Peoples, as well as to encourage and enhance spiritual and personal growth.

About the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC):
The IDHC has more than 25 years of experience in Indigenous diabetes health promotion and capacity building, including client services, knowledge dissemination and training. The IDHC delivers culturally based programs focusing on diabetes education, prevention and management in Indigenous communities across Ontario—serving First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. Facilitating community capacity, building upon traditional strengths and supporting community-driven programs that honour traditional strengths and support community-driven programs remain IDHC’s core focus.

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chrisjohn
Board Designate
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Roslynn Baird
Executive Director
Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle

Dr. Suzanne Shoush
Lead Physician of NaMeRes,
Indigenous Health Faculty Lead UofT
Primary Care Physician St Michaels Hospital
Board President
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre