Inside the new mobile clinic serving Indigenous communities in Quebec’s Lanaudière region

The mobile Mikinakw clinic is more than just medical services. With educational services, cultural animators, traditional healers, and intervention workers, and more, Jennifer Brazeau of the Lanaudière Native Friendship Centre describes the mobile clinic of as their own “mobile friendship centre”.

The need for this project was recognized during the pandemic when the Friendship Centre’s members still required services despite the Centre’s limitations on opening its doors. In response to theses needs, the Friendship Centre started going into members homes in whatever ways they could and found it was often a better practice than asking members to come to them. In many cases, the flexibility they implemented during the pandemic allowed them to meet their members where they were and offer them better access to the full range of services they offer.

Ian Lafrenière, Quebec minister responsible for relations with First Nations and Inuit, describes the mobile Mikinakw clinic as “cultural safety” because it’s adapting the system to meet the different realities of people’s needs instead of asking people to adapt to fit into the system.

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