CEM exchange with Snuneymuxw First Nation

By Katerina Kwon, CEM Advisor and SFU PhD Candidate

On March 28, 2024, Terena Ross and her team at Snuneymuxw First Nation invited us to give a presentation about the Metlakatla CEM Program. I was able to join the meeting in person at their beautiful Health Centre in Nanaimo, BC and Jean Nelson joined the presentation online.

We were so warmly received by Snuneymuxw and their collaborators from the First Nations Health Authority and Vancouver Island University. Their team asked such thoughtful questions throughout our presentation and as a result, we had an amazing discussion about the benefits and challenges of doing cumulative effects work.

Our presentation covered:

  • How we started the Metlakatla CEM Program
  • Overview of the program’s approach and outcomes
  • Discussion of benefits / challenges of the CEM Program
  • Lessons for other Indigenous communities
  • Closing remarks about our work in the future

I look forward to learning more about the work Snuneymuxw is planning around contaminants and environment/human health. We made some important connections that can inform our work around contaminants in the future.

In order to secure and enhance the well-being of future generations in Metlakatla, it is imperative that we handle past, present, and potential future activities with efficiency, effectiveness, and consistency. Chief Robert Nelson, 2024, Metlakatla First Nation