The mandate of the NWT Breast Health/Breast Cancer Action Group (the Action Group) is to increase breast health awareness, and services, information and support for people who experience breast cancer. in the Northwest Territories. We began as a working group in 1996 and have been a registered charity and non-profit society since 2004. The Action Group has an active volunteer board of 12 women and a small donated office in Yellowknife.
Our recent projects to raise breast health awareness include: the Breast Health and Healthy Living workshop kit and awareness materials that are used by frontline health workers in all NWT communities; training for CHRs to facilitate the workshop; and the recently updated Caring For Yourself breast health booklet. We also do a regular newsletter with information about breast cancer and healthy living.
To support people affected by breast cancer we have held an NWT breast cancer survivors retreat almost every year since 2000, funding permitting. We have piloted and facilitated the Art of Healing program for breast/other cancer survivors. With four NWT survivors we produced the video Breast Cancer: Northern Women Share Their Journeys. Our Living the Journey cancer survivor care demonstration project in Fort Good Hope and Fort Smith (2015-2018) piloted survivor care plans and enhanced community support in order to increase wellness and quality of life for men and women living with cancer; we hope to see this initiative implemented by the GNWT in all communities in 2019. In 2016 we started a cancer peer support group for women in Yellowknife and we also delivered breast cancer peer support training for women from across the NWT in February 2017. We maintain a website and Facebook page with information and resources.
We are currently fundraising to hold a Regional Retreat for Women with any type of cancer from the DehCho, South Slave and North Slave regions of the NWT in 2019, so that women living in smaller communities can also benefit from mutual support, information and healing.
All these projects and programs depend on raising funds from other sources. Cancer is the leading cause of death in the NWT and we CAN make a difference right here. Help us help cancer patients.