Aboriginal Health Committee

The South West LHIN is focused on long-term relationship building with local Indigenous communities. We are committed to working together, where appropriate and possible, to increase First Nation, Inuit and Métis population health outcomes. In all areas of operation, the South West LHIN has sought the advice and guidance of Indigenous communities and health service providers.

The South West LHIN Aboriginal Health Committee meets bimonthly, and serves as an advisory Committee to the South West LHIN on the following topics:

  • Health needs and priorities within Aboriginal Communities (First Nation, Métis, Urban and Rural).
  • Opportunities for the integration and coordination of health care services where applicable.
  • Opportunities for alignment with existing Aboriginal/First Nation/ Métis regional, provincial and federal health planning structures to improve health outcomes.
  • Opportunities for alignment with existing mainstream health programs and services determined by Aboriginal community and/or Aboriginal Health Service Providers (HSPs).
  • Targeted engagements with specific Aboriginal populations as it pertains to the work of the South West LHIN and the needs of those populations.

When providing advice to the South West LHIN for planning and health priorities, the Aboriginal Health Committee will consider also the resolution of long standing systemic gaps and barriers to quality health care (for example, jurisdictional wrangling, poverty, systemic racism, poorer socio-economic status, gender, levels of isolation, intergenerational trauma and the legacy of residential schools). The Advisory Committee will gather relevant health system information, health status information and data, where available and/or appropriate.

The Advisory Committee works in partnership with Aboriginal health service providers, First Nation, urban Aboriginal and Métis leadership, Aboriginal communities, mainstream health service providers and the South West LHIN to:

  • Increase cross-cultural understanding.
  • Increase culturally safe care.
  • Improve equitable access to care.
  • Improve the patient experience.
  • Improve quality of care.
  • Improve the interface between western and traditional methods and approaches to treatment and care.
  • Improve quality and availability of reliable health information and data for the purposes of health planning as determined by Aboriginal communities.


Committee Members

Name  Organization Title
Howard Elijah   Elder and Traditional Advisor
Cheryl Johnson Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Health Council Liaison

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Health Administrator
Kimberly Fisher Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Health Centre Health Administrator
Renee Abram M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Centre Executive Director
Laurel Day N’Amerind Friendship Centre Life Long Care Worker
Ida Cornelius
Oneida Nation of the Thames
Health Administrator
Lisa Tabobondung
Mino Bimaadsawin Health Centre - Saugeen
Health Centre Director

Saugeen First Nation
Melissa Gregory
Saugeen First Nation
Michael Barrett
South West LHIN
Kelly Gillis
South West LHIN
Senior Director, System Design & Integration
Vanessa Ambtman-Smith
South West LHIN
Aboriginal Health Lead
Biju Thomas
South West LHIN
Financial Analyst
Denise Hewitt
South West LHIN
Communications & Web Coordinator 
Brian Dokis
Southwestern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC)
Executive Director
Marley Fisher
Munsee-Delaware Nation
Council Member

Great Lakes Métis Council

Maureen Kelly
Oneida Long Term Care Home
Administrator/Director of Care
Millie Litt
South West Regional Cancer Program
Manager, Regional Cancer Services
Chantel Antone
South West Regional Cancer Program
Aboriginal Patient Navigator

Click here to read the Aboriginal Health Committee's Terms of Reference. 

Click here to go to the Aboriginal Health System Planning page.