January 29, 2020

Having access to decent health services is crucial for the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The current healthcare system that delivers these services is not meeting the needs of First Nation communities in Ontario.

We had the opportunity to travel to Fort Frances and Winnipeg to learn about some of the major issues first hand from both health professionals and the communities directly affected. It was shocking to hear how prevalent the lack of available services is, how long the journeys to receive treatment are, and how the care being given is often not culturally relevant for those receiving it.

To help tackle the enormous task of transforming healthcare for their communities, the Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT #3) Health Transformation team came to us asking if we could create a map of all the healthcare facilities within their territory. Our team saw an opportunity to take this project a step further and develop a virtual healthcare portal that could accurately reflect the state of care in Treaty #3.

We worked with GCT #3, federal and provincial governments, and health organizations to gather all of the available data on healthcare facilities, boil water advisories, forest fires, and other relevant information within Treaty #3. Using our MapAki software, we created an interactive web-based tool that provides a centralized location for all of the collected data. MapAki’s visual presentation of this information can help with mapping out services, as well as identifying any gaps in the system.

The interactive healthcare portal is a dynamic tool that is continually being updated and expanded on to help Grand Council Treaty #3 make informed decisions in the Health Transformation for and with their communities. We feel honoured to play a part in remodeling the healthcare system for First Nation communities, and we are proud of the work that is being done. We look forward to seeing more changes that will lead to a better healthcare system in the future.