Environmental Health

Environmental Health Officers

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) Mark Turner and Leslie Moody provide advice, guidance, education, public health inspections and recommendations to First Nations and their leadership to help them manage public health risks associated with the environment. They gather data required to analyze what steps can be taken to promote public health in First Nations communities. Some EHOs are employed by Health Canada and some by First Nations or Tribal Councils. All EHOs working in First Nations communities must have a Certificate in Public Health Inspection (Canada).

EHOs visit First Nations to do inspections, investigations and provide education and training sessions. Routine activities are provided as per community workplans that are agreed upon by Environmental Health Officers and Chiefs and Councils. Other activities are completed as required, upon request of Chiefs and Councils.

EHOs identify potential public health risks in First Nations communities and provide recommendations on how to correct them. Chiefs and Councils are responsible for addressing the recommendations provided.

Stó:lō Nation Health Services provides the Drinking Water Safety Program to the following communities:
Other communities in the Nation’s territory (Leq’a:mel, Matsqui, Squiala and Sumas First Nations) provide their own Drinking Water Safety Program on behalf of their members.

Drinking Water
Access to safe and reliable drinking water is essential. The Environmental Public Health Program undertakes activities related to drinking water safety in First Nations communities.

1. Environmental Public Health Assessment
Monitor to verify the quality of drinking water:
Sampling and testing of community distribution systems, cisterns and public-access wells is conducted by EHOs and Community Based Water Monitors, which may include Water Quality Technicians and Community Health Representatives.
Review and interpret drinking water quality results according to the latest version of the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality including bacteriological, chemical, physical and radiological parameters.
Provide advice, guidance and recommendations to First Nations communities about drinking water safety issues.
Review plans for new or upgraded community water systems from a public health perspective.
Investigate suspected problems with community drinking water supplies as required.

2. Public Education
Provide Public Education to Chiefs, Councils, and community residents about safe drinking water and risk prevention.

3. Training
Provide training, orientation and regular refreshers to Community Based Water Quality Monitors.

Download the Government of Canada's "Your Health at Home: What You Can Do! Environmental Health Guide for First Nations" here. (PDF 3.9MB)

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Wellness Services

Wellness Services provides services to individuals, families, and communities utilizing holistic and generalist approach to Health and Wellness. The program seeks to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of community members by providing prevention and intervention services.

Community Wellness Workers
Community Wellness Workers provide addictions prevention counselling, support services and client navigation services to all on-reserve residents of the communities that are members of the Health Transfer Agreement (Aitchelitz, Popkum, Skowkale, Shxwha:y Village, Tzeachten, Yakweakwioose, and Skawahlook). These services are as also provided to people living off-reserve.

Aboriginal Mental Health
The Aboriginal Mental Health Liaison Worker can assists clients in accessing Mental Health Services from Mission to Boston Bar, and achieves this through:

  • Public Awareness Activities
  • Workshops/ Information Sessions/ Education and Training
  • Support Groups
  • Case Management and Advocacy
  • Referrals
  • Traditional Aboriginal Healing and Wellness

Upon request, other Aboriginal cultural awareness and resources workshops, education and training sessions, and support groups can be designed to reflect a community's specific needs.

Aboriginal Suicide and Crisis Intervention Response Team (ASCIRT)
This program aims to increase awareness of Aboriginal Youth Suicide, facilitating collaborative approaches and linkages within other services, while improving and strengthening crisis response efforts and enhancing the development and knowledge of successful youth suicide prevention strategies.
This program includes ensuring youth have a strong sense of identity, meaning, and purpose, along with resilience.