Resources for Small, Rural and Remote Communities
Now Available: Resources tailored to the rural community context!
This resource portal is a response to the unique opportunities, challenges, and approaches to fostering health and well-being in small, rural and remote communities in BC. The portal offers resources related to PlanH action areas with a rural lens.
The Rural Context
There are over 110 cities, towns, municipalities and villages in BC and of those, over 75% are small, rural or remote communities of less than 30,000 people.i A healthy community approach takes resources and leadership. This can be challenging in small and remote communities where there are fewer organizations, resources and volunteers to do the work. There is often no organization to lead on new or emerging issues like food security or support for seniors at home, and yet the need is often there.
On the positive side, there are many tools and examples of rural success and innovation. Many of these examples are stories of collaborating across sectors, and all of them illustrate “can do” attitudes and creativity to improve well-being.
Resources are organized by the same Take Action Areas as the rest of the PlanH site (Healthy Society, Healthy People, Healthy Environment), for ease of searching.
If you find the portal useful, or if you are looking for something specific, we would love to hear from you in the next year as we continue to build out the resources. Contact us here.
Partnerships have resulted in strong community engagement and increased physical activity in the District of Kitimat. The District of Kitimat and Northern Health signed the Active Living, Health and Wellness Protocol in 2008 to formalize a long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship, and the rewards to the community keep coming.
Food insecurity is a growing concern for many households with clear impacts on health and wellbeing. Across Canada, many organizations are taking new approaches to improve food security. This paper highlights the experience of the Ontario Association of Public Health Nutrition Professionals and Food Secure Canada in advocating to improve food security focusing on three advocacy roles in public health
A toolkit with different ideas for how local government and others can promote enjoyment of fruits and vegetables in remote communities including preservation, gardening, and others.
– BC Ministry of Health
This is a useful example of a Housing Needs Assessment that integrates stakeholder/user perspectives.
- Lower Columbia Community Development Society
The Malahat Nation decided to embark on a ground-truthing initiative, led by Elders and youth in collaboration with the University of Victoria, to decide which land could be developed and which land should be conserved. This partnership allowed for the stimulation of intergenerational relationships knowledge exchange, and a shared understanding of the importance of specific plants for traditional uses.
This report shares results from 11 communities in rural Minnesota that undertook assessment and planning to strengthen their information and communications technology. For local governments, business associations and planners.
- Intelligent Community Forum
This guide has been prepared by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with BC Healthy Communities, to serve as a guide for local governments/First Nations in the planning of a municipal alcohol policy (MAP). A MAP helps local governments/First Nations manage alcohol facilities they own and manage, and reduces liability for alcohol-related problems. This guide explains what a MAP is, how it can benefit your local government/First Nation and how to create one, from start to finish.
Includes policies and design guidelines for active transportation in winter conditions.
For health professionals, educators and policy makers, this Toolkit defines a sample Aboriginal health bridging training program that blends western and Aboriginal practices, resources and pedagogy.
- Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Society
With limited capacity, enforcement of the Bylaw was difficult. The Village relied on effective messaging to change social norms, and complaint-based enforcement if bylaw violations were persistent.
Clean air contributes to a healthy community and a sustainable economy, and in Prince George, a multi-stakeholder group is working together to improve air quality.
The Salt Spring Ag Alliance was founded by five key food stakeholders on the Island. Together they have developed a community abbattoir, and a produce centre is on the way. Their story illustrates what is possible in small places through formal partnerships.
- Plan To Farm
In this video recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention, Michelle Staples of the Duncan City Council reflects on the city's partnership with House of Friendship and Community Kitchens to create a communal cob oven in a downtown park. The project was collaboratively built and is a hub for community events as well as a connection to food security conversations.
In this video recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention, Laurie Dolan of Fort Nelson reflects on an inspirational BCHC workshop she attended that sparked a process of asset mapping and building on successful projects.
In this video recorded at the 2015 UBCM Convention, Jessie Hemphill of Port Hardy celebrates the success of many different ministries, organizations, and community members collaborating with local government to discuss health issues within the community. Results have included transit in the north island, a holistic addictions service plan, and many more incredible community projects.