What does an Indigenous Centre for Excellence mean?

Firstly, we are Indigenous. Wabano was created by Indigenous people for Indigenous people. We bring the knowledge of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people and cultures into one beautiful space. A space that celebrates the resilience and beauty of our unique communities. At Wabano, Indigenous people guide the path of their health and their healthcare. 

We are a Centre for Excellence. Not a Centre of Excellence, but for Excellence. At Wabano, we believe our Elders’ teachings that say learning is lifelong. Gaining mastery – or excellence – is a journey that requires support all along the way. Wabano was created to be a place where Indigenous people are supported on their paths of excellence – both individually and together as a community.

We provide Healthcare Services – from an Indigenous perspective. We practice wholistic health. That means that we believe that true health includes four aspects of wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. At Wabano, we blend contemporary with traditional to find the perfect balance for you and your entire family. Our unique model of care is so effective, that it informs health policy across the Province.

Our Mandate

The main purpose of the Centre is to create and deliver services that will prevent ill health, treat illness and provide support and aftercare. Services are offered in a culturally sensitive way that welcomes, accepts and respects all Indigenous people.

Our Vision

More than a health centre, Wabano is a proud Indigenous organization dedicated to helping Indigenous people live the good life.

We envision a world in which all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have achieved full and equitable access to the conditions of health including: pride in ancestry, cultural reclamation, peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable environment, resources, and social justice.

We envision a world where the gifts and wisdom of First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures are recognized as valuable, distinctive and beautiful.

We believe that good medicine is characterized by:

  • Reclaiming culture as a pillar of healing;
  • The teaching and healing practices of Indigenous people;
  • A contemporary model of quality primary healthcare;
  • Focusing on the individual in the context of their family and the community;
  • Believing in the wisdom of Elders, traditional healers, and teachers; and,
  • Believing in the importance of traditional ceremony and celebration.

Our Mission

We accomplish our mission through our four areas of expertise:

  • Healthcare: Providing quality, holistic, culturally-relevant health services to Ottawa’s First Nation, Métis, and Inuit population;
  • Initiatives: Engaging in clinical, social, economic and cultural initiatives that promote the health/well-being of all Indigenous people;
  • Education & Advocacy: Promoting community-building through education and advocacy; and
  • Service Excellence: Serving as a Centre for Excellence for urban Indigenous health.

Our Strategic Directions

In April 2022, Wabano set its strategic priorities for the next three years. The three priorities that we identified were:

  1. Make Wabano an Indigenous employer of choice by hiring qualified employees and retaining them through a positive workplace culture.
  2. Make Wabano a place of belonging for our employees.
  3. Make Wabano a cultural hub for the Indigenous community.

Our Model of Care is Rooted in Culture

The closest word in the Ojibwe language for health is “mino bimaadiziwin” which means “living the good life.” Each quadrant in our model of care is rooted in Indigenous wisdom and supports clients in living their good life.

Based on the Medicine Wheel and the work of Dr. Martin Brokenleg, our Model of Care guides all aspects of the way we develop and deliver our programs and services, from the way we interact with our community to how we engage with our space. At Wabano, our goal is to create a centre that all Indigenous people can call home.

Learn more about Wabano’s unique Model of Care.