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G'minoomaadozimin Health and Safety Initiative

Archived Backgrounder

G'minoomaadozimin Health and Safety Initiative

Nokiiwin Tribal Council 

The Nokiiwin Tribal Council is a federally registered non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a range of social and community services to six Indigenous communities. Services include access to justice, health and wellness, community development and education.

The member communities are located in the Robinson Superior Treaty area, and include:

  • Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek (Lake Nipigon Ojibway)
  • Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation)
  • Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (Rocky Bay First Nation)
  • Fort William First Nation
  • Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation)
  • Pic Mobert First Nation

The Nokiiwin catchment area is 400 kilometres east and 250 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

G'minoomaadozimin ("We are Living Well") Health and Safety Initiative

The G'minoomaadozimin initiative received funding from the Ministry of Labour's Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program in both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 fiscal years. The initiative's initial success led to this separate funding.  

The G'minoomaadozimin initiative, led by Nokiiwin Tribal Council, worked with the six member communities to:

  • Enhance the health and safety of vulnerable workers, families and communities
  • Shift attitudes and behaviour
  • Create an Indigenous-centric health and safety culture
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer that resonates with Indigenous communities

Nokiiwin held the first annual G'minoomaadozimin Health & Safety Conference on November 24 and 25, 2015. The conference increased awareness of the requirements for health and safety, and focused on topics such as violence and harassment, life after a workplace injury, due diligence, driving safely on winter roads, outdoor safety and construction safety.

Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) training was also provided to all six member communities. They were trained on such topics as federal and provincial legislation, effective JHSCs, roles and responsibilities, and the Internal Responsibility System. They also focused on inspections, incident investigations, and hazard recognition, assessment, control and evaluation.

Nokiiwin, with the help of Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, conducted a health and safety orientation training session to 112 young workers. Nokiiwin also delivered workshops tailored to different members of the community, such as children, youth, adults, and parents and elders.

The initiative produced a health and safety toolkit closely linked to Indigenous values. The toolkit includes a health and safety handbook, JHSC toolkit, a respectful workplace community poster, and a health and safety board kit.

The initiative also addressed mental health issues and the potential for violence. It focused on areas such as:

  • Worker engagement, morale, creativity and innovation
  • Organizational effectiveness and continual improvement
  • Worker recruitment and retention
  • Job shadowing and mentoring
  • Cultural prosperity
  • Absenteeism

This newly approved funding will allow for additional training, knowledge transfer and practical application of health and safety in a cultural context that addresses community needs. 

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