COVID Recovery Sites Indigenous Navigator - Inner City Health Associates
Indigenous people have inequitable access to the Canadian healthcare system. The causes of the health inequities faced by Indigenous people in Canada are structural; rooted in law, policy and institutional design – and these structures of inequity have persisted, creating ongoing barriers in accessing healthcare services and violating trust of Indigenous people. The Indigenous population in Toronto is the largest Indigenous population in Canada, estimated to be >70,000. Approximately 1/3 of Indigenous adults living in Toronto are functionally homeless and Indigenous peoples are also disproportionately represented among the larger homeless population of Toronto, representing 16% of this population according to the Toronto Public Health needs assessment, which is almost certainly an underestimate.
The structural and health outcome inequities Indigenous Peoples experience are known to be exacerbated during pandemic situations. It is critical that Indigenous Peoples experiencing homelessness are particularly prioritized during pandemics.
ICHA is in a position to alleviate these burdens. Further, ICHA recognizes the importance of aligning with domestic and international law, ethics guidelines, and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada and the importance of advancing First Nation, Métis, and Inuit leadership and worldviews in the address of Indigenous health inequities.
Two COVID-19 Recovery programs at one site for people experiencing homelessness are in operation with in Etobicoke. These programs are designed for individuals who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and who are at relatively low risk of progression to severe illness due to COVID. The on-site programs have been built to support the specific needs of people experiencing homelessness, with a team of professionals including peers, harm reduction workers, shelter staff, nurses and physicians. The programs operate through an explicit harm reduction and trauma-informed lens.
The Indigenous Navigator positions (2) are intended to support the on-site teams in creating a welcoming, supportive and culturally safe space for Indigenous clients, and to develop and provide targeted supports to Indigenous clients through their stays at the Recovery sites and beyond.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Program Development and Support:
- Serve as a member of the Recovery Sites’ program teams
- Support the development of policies and practices targeted to improving the wellbeing and safety of indigenous clients
- Communicate with Indigenous communities regarding the supports and resources available at the recovery sites
- Assist in the development of culturally safe pathways into and through the recovery program, from testing through discharge
- Support the development of data collection and tracking initiatives targeted at understanding experiences and outcomes for Indigenous clients
- Develop, disseminate and post communication materials about COVID and related resources and supports, specifically targeted at Indigenous clients
Liaison and Community Building:
- Support the development of linkages to Indigenous-focused community organizations and partners.
Supports for Clients:
- Provide mental, emotional and spiritual support to Indigenous clients
- Provide information, advocacy, support and counseling to Indigenous clients
- Facilitate ceremony and access to Indigenous medicines
- Facilitate connections with family, elders, traditional healers and other community supports
- Develop and coordinate the provision of material resources for clients, including for babies and families and indigenous medicines and ceremonial supplies
- Participate in and initiate case discussions with other team members
Supports for Site Management and Staff:
- Act as a resource for staff regarding the needs of Indigenous clients and community
- Provide monitoring, oversight and advocacy related to the quality and equity of services being offered by non-Indigenous providers
The navigator will report jointly to the Director of Clinical Services and the ICHA Indigenous Health (Co)-Leads.
This full-time position will be compensated at a rate appropriate to the training and experience of the successful candidate
Candidates will possess a deep knowledge of Indigenous communities and culture. Candidates will have a strong understanding of health team and program functioning. A health professional degree will be considered an asset. Ability to travel independently to Etobicoke Recovery is essential. Preference will be given to Indigenous candidates.
The position will begin immediately and continue for a term of 6 months. Possible extension of duration dependent upon available funding and the status of the pandemic.