Advocacy & Outreach

Advocacy & Outreach services Team works to support the Aboriginal community with the access to culturally appropriate health-care & to promote the empowerment of Aboriginal people in determining their own health care needs.

To assist Aboriginal community members with Transportation for medical purposes for seniors/elders, small children & parents, rural, hard to reach areas i.e.: shut -ins & individuals who have physical & mental health difficulties.


Medical Transportation Services – Wheels for seniors

The mandate of the transportation program is to provide medical transportation to Indigenous Seniors (and those with early on-set aging), as well as those with complex physical disabilities, within the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN catchment area, to access door to door service for medical appointments within the HNHB LHIN Catchment Area.

When referring patients/participants to the Wheels for Seniors program please follow the steps outlined below:

When referring your client/patients for Medical transportation, please have your client contact myself directly by via phone Ext. 234. Please have client/patient contact ASAP as I do service Hamilton and Brantford areas and out of town. 48 hours notice is best due to the high volume of service.

This will ensure direct communication with client regarding Time and location of appointment and pick up locations.

More information please contact:  Transportation Driver at 905-544-4320 ext. 234


Aboriginal Patient Navigator Program

Role of  Aboriginal Patient Navigator:

A culturally appropriate resource for health care providers and individuals from hospitals to community/Home.

Navigators are Front Line Workers who provide linkage/liaison between Traditional healing, community services and supports.

To educate Aboriginal people about options available to them, and to support them in their utilization of programs and services within the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN) .

To educate service providers about the needs of Aboriginal People based on a number of factors (ie. Intergenerational trauma).


What we do?

Services provided on and off reserve, status, non-status & Métis, Inuit individuals/families. The urban Aboriginal communities of Hamilton, Haldimand, Brant, and Niagara (HNHB) regions

Aboriginal Individuals & Families from Birth to End of life – supporting the provision of health care services (acute care, residential care, mental health, community services etc.) to Aboriginal patients/clients, caregivers and their families in a culturally competent manner

To help Our People navigate different cultural pathways to health/healing (Traditional Healers, Traditional Practitioners, medicines and cultural practices), as well as Western models of care that can be foreign and complex to our people


Services Offered

  • Service Care coordination
  • Eliminate Barriers (real or perceived)
  • Encourage access to culturally appropriate health care services
  • Access to Traditional Healing programs and services
  • Hospital Visits
  • Home Visits
  • Enhance/Encourage communication between individuals and health care providers
  • Maintain regular contact during hospital stay
  • Link client/patient to local service providers
  • Advise clients/patients to comprehensive resources
  • Ensure individual/family understands and fully participates in their health care plan


Offices of Aboriginal Patient Navigators

The Patient Navigators are staff of De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre who are housed at partnering organizations in order to best service the needs of the community.

Hamilton Region:           Hamilton DAHC Offices – 905-379-4320

Brantford/Halidmand:    Brant Native Housing – 519-750-4323

Niagara Region:            Southern Ontario Diabetes initiative – 905-358-4320


Aboriginal Patient Advocacy Services

To ensure that Aboriginal People have access to culturally appropriate health care services & programs.

To promote the empowerment of Aboriginal People in determining their own health care needs.

Areas of service include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with issues regarding education, income, employment & training, life style – diet, housing, life skills; ie: ODSP, Ontario works, CPP – Disability & Old Age, EI Benefits, WSIB applications & Claims, etc.
  • Providing client case management services – Holistic Approach (internally & externally within the communities)
  • Providing Aboriginal patient advocacy in hospitals; Emergency Room, Urgent Care Clinics,  & Walk-in Clinics.  -Supporting/providing services in area hospitals to address language barriers, ensure patient and family understand diagnosis, treatment & accommodate Cultural & Traditional Barriers
  • To arrange Cultural & Traditional Services requests in area hospitals i.e: Elders, Traditional Healers, Traditional Midwives, Medicine people. Language Interpretation/Translation Request i.e: Cree Language
  • Access to Traditional Medicines- cedar, tobacco, sage & sweet grass for individuals.
  • Home Visits – Meet with Individual in their own home, Intake and assessment of the needs of the individual.
  • Lobbying to ensure that there is Aboriginal representation on health related decision making bodies, committees and boards;
  • Reporting incidences of discrimination to appropriate authorities;
  • information Dissemination. – Advocacy Resource & Material Library
  • Providing Training in the areas of: Cultural Competency & Cultural Safety
  • Community Workshops: First Nations & Inuit Health Branch, OHIP & Legal information & Medic Alert Days


Contact Information:

To contact the Advocacy & Outreach Services  please call 905-544-4320 ext. 242 in Hamilton or 519-752-4340 ext. 242 .

Jolene Courchene
Stephenie Faulkner

Aboriginal Patient Navigator - Hamilton

Stephenie Faulkner is the Aboriginal Patient Navigator for Hamilton. Stephenie is a member of the Cayuga nation from Six Nations, born and raised in Hamilton Ontario. Stephenie has certification in Medical Terminology (2008) and a diploma in Cardiovascular Technology (2010) both from Mohawk College. Previously Stephenie has worked in several client service roles including addiction…

Tara Miller

Brantford Patient Navigator

Tara Miller is a member of Six Nations Mohawk Turtle clan where she raised her four children and is grandmother of two grandsons. She is the Aboriginal Patient Navigator for De dwa da deh nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre. Tara graduated from Mohawk college in 1991 in the Native community care program, which lead her into a job in her community as a Community Health representative for many years. She has substantial work history in the community Health field where she gained extensive experience & training to assist community members of all ages.

Since becoming an Aboriginal Patient Navigator in January 2014 for the Haldimand Brant region lifes been busy for her, energetically networking to increase awareness of the program and focusing on patient wellness as the goal.

Jason Cayuga

Transportation Services

JASON CAYUGA is of bearfoot onondaga descent and has worked at DE DWA DA DEHS NYE>S for three plus years in the transportation department as the medical transfer driver. He is grateful in helping the clients receive safe and reliable transportation. He was born and lives in Hamilton and enjoys walking his two dogs on the trails and dog parks through out the city. Jason was previously a heavy truck driver for 20 years, and enjoys his change in life and his new career at DE DWA DA DEHS NYE>S.

In the future will be going back to school to be a social worker, so he can continue to help the aboriginal community and to grow as a person.

Tara Williams

Manager of Advocacy and Outreach Services

Tara Williams is a member of Cayuga Nation, Snipe clan, from Six Nations, Ontario. She was raised and currently resident in Hamilton, Ontario with her two children. Tara has been working at De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre for the past 15 years. She was previously the Advocacy Program Coordinator at Aboriginal Health Centre for 13 years and is now the Manager/Team Lead for the Advocacy & Outreach Services for the last two years. She graduated from Canadore College in 1996, Social Service Worker – Native Program and Correctional Worker Program in 1998.

Tara has worked within our communities from Infants to Seniors with extensive knowledge & experience within our Urban Aboriginal Communities of Hamilton & Brantford. In the areas of Aboriginal Patient Advocacy, Case Managment, Counselling, Crisis Intervention, Traditional Health & Wellness, Social Determinants of Health, Children’s Mental Health, Health Promotion & Education.