Truth and Reconciliation Quilt

Indigenous Public Health

Peterborough is located in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagig peoples and is part of the land covered by Treaty #20, signed in November, 1818.  Local Indigenous partners remind us that Peterborough’s traditional name is Nogojiwanong, (“place at the foot of the rapids” in Anishinaabemowin).

There are two First Nations communities, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation located within the geographic public health unit boundaries.  The City of Peterborough has within its boundaries several active urban Indigenous organizations, including Nogojiwanong (the Native Friendship Centre) located on Cameron Street, Niijkiwendidaa (the Native Women’s Association Centre) located on Water Street, and the office of the Métis Nation of Ontario, located on Charlotte Street.  The Lovesick Lake Native Women’s Association currently offers services and programs from its office in Lakefield.

The Indigenous population of Peterborough is comprised of peoples living both on reserve and off reserve.  Additionally, action to support and protect health requires an understanding of the responsibilities of various levels of government as well as a stance of cultural sensitivity and humility.

PPH has a long history with both First Nations in the local area.  According to board of health records, the present public health service agreements date from 1998 for Curve Lake First Nation and 2007 for Hiawatha First Nation.  The board has had representation from both these communities since that time.

Our work with Indigenous partners is fundamental to our mandate. Peterborough Public Health is committed to the principles of truth and reconciliation and to acting upon the 2015 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  In addition, the new 2018 provincial requirement for all boards of health to establish relationships with Indigenous partners is part of public health’s Health Equity mandate.