Departments, Portfolios and Affiliates

Health & Wellness Department

Message from the Minister | Health and Wellness Department Home | Publications

Welcome to our MMF Health & Wellness Department. We are pleased to be able to share some of the work we have been doing on behalf of and with engagement of Metis citizens. Established in 2005, the MMF Health & Wellness Department plays a leadership role in its vision of 'A Well Metis Community' by developing and using knowledge that is culture-based and holistic. The department builds health capacity regionally and provincially through the development and use of health research, and is now known as the 'Metis Health Knowledge Authority in Manitoba'.

Our department has chosen to use the Metis Life Promotion Framework© and Wellness Areas© originally created by Dr. Judith G. Bartlett and adapted within MMF for Metis use. This culture-based holistic model is used extensively by the department in all areas of work. All department staff are oriented to this model upon hiring and are supported to incorporate this model into their daily activities.

The department is structured by function areas: Leadership and Management; Knowledge Development; Knowledge Mobilization (Use); and Community Wellness Development Support.


Knowledge Development focuses on the creation of Metis-specific health and wellness knowledge. It undertakes both quantitative and qualitative research. The first quantitative study, publically released June 2010 'Metis Health Status and Healthcare Services Utilization in Manitoba: A Population Based Study', created a base-line of Metis-specific health knowledge. Building upon the Metis health status study, we refer to as the 'Metis Atlas', the department has completed four studies under our Metis Chronic Diseases Surveillance Program: 1) 'Diabetes in Metis in Manitoba'; 2) 'Cancer in Metis in Manitoba'; 3) 'Ischemic Heart Disease in Metis in Manitoba'; and 4) 'Depression and Anxiety in Metis in Manitoba'.

In addition to Quantitative Research (data linkages) the Knowledge Development team conducts Qualitative Research. In this type of research we try to understand people's experiences, and rely on stories, discussion groups, and personal interviews, as sources of our information. Our most recent report is 'There is No Place Like Home. The Experiences of Metis Aging in Place'.

All of the research that we do in our department is done respecting the privacy and confidentiality of everyone who takes part. We work closely with communities and with researchers from the University of Manitoba. We ensure that at the end of each study, the communities that were involved in the study receive the study results either by a community presentation or by receiving a copy of the report.

These reports are available for viewing by clicking the "publications" tab above.

Knowledge Mobilization/Use focuses on providing central support in the areas of Metis health management and policy leadership to implement and coordinate regional Knowledge Networks to engage Metis citizens, and inform the adaptation of initiatives in Manitoba. The department continues working with MMF Regions to establish Region Knowledge Networks to engage with Region Health Authorities on health planning, policy, programs and services. We anticipated that engaging directly with RHAs to interpret Metis-specific health information would result in long-term commitment from Manitoba Health and its RHAs to continue involving MMF in this manner. It is this strong relationship between MMF and the provincial health system that will support the identification of Metis citizen access issues that can be addressed collaboratively through the Region Knowledge Networks.

It is MMF Region commitment and leadership that has assured the 'place and space' for Metis involvement in the provincial health system. MMF Health & Wellness Department and MMF Region Offices work together to establish and sustain Region Knowledge Networks that will provide the mechanism for MMF engagement with their respective Regional Health Authorities (RHAs). The Region Knowledge Networks involve senior management (decision-makers) from both the MMF Regions and their RHAs, effectively setting the stage for Metis to influence decisions on health priorities and developing/implementing a Metis Health & Wellness plan that will reflect their collaborative work being undertaken to adapt the health system to better meet the needs of the Metis population in Manitoba. Knowledge Network plans include: 1) activities the RHA is undertaking to ensure health programs/services better meet the needs of Metis health consumers; 2) enhancement of MMF social and economic programs that the MMF region chooses to pursue; and 3) MMF/RHA collaborative projects. Region Knowledge Networks are also focusing on a Metis Human Resources Strategy to recruit, support, and career path more Metis in the provincial health system.

Community Wellness Development Support is our most current functional area that has been long awaited. We are in the developmental phase of this functional area and will be better prepared to update information on this site soon.