Northern Route to HEALth, Prince George, May 29-30

Dig your HEALs in

HEAL - it's a fresh wind blowing through the north. It's walkers & gardeners, cooks & cavorters. It's northerners taking charge, thumbing our noses at the usual dismal northern health stats. HEAL is communities with a can-do attitude, with walking paths and farmers' markets and Healthy Eating & Active Living the whole year 'round.

For information and registration, contact HEAL Project Coordinator Cathryn Wellner or Conference Coordinator Jovanka Djordjevich


May 29

Northern Route to HEALth

8 - 8:30

Continental breakfast & registration

8:30 - 9:00

Welcome & intros

9 - 10:15

Making healthy choice the easy choice &endash; School Nutrition Project in SD #27. This very successful project is a grassroots, bottom-up approach. Each school planned its own school nutrition projects and created a policy that worked for them.

There'll be time for discussion and questions. This is a terrific model for other schools.

9 - 3

Caravan of Learning Youth Forum [see description below]

10:15 - 10:30


10:30 - 12

Changing our workplaces

  • WorkWell
  • Health Nuts

Changing our communities

  • NHA's greening plans
  • Mapping projects

12 - 1:00

Northern Bounty lunch prepared by Sassafras Savouries

1:00 - 3:00

Making the case - analyzing qualitative data

Theresa Healy's session on participatory evaluation was rated "best ever" by participants at last year's HEAL gathering. This year Theresa takes us to the next step. Now that we have successful gardens, kitchens, trails, good food boxes, and other community initiatives, how do we measure their success? How do we show they're working and should be funded?

A workshop with Theresa is always invigorating, inspiring, and fun besides. You'll go away with tools and ideas.

3:00 - 4:30

Tour of PG HE / AL (rooftop greening, community garden, PGNFC community kitchen) &endash; including youth participants

4:30 - 6:30

Cruise, schmooze & snooze time

6:30 p.m.

Banquet, HEAL Heroes Awards and celebration and Youth Forum performance

May 30

How do we cultivate the HE / AL seeds we've planted?

8:30 - 10

HEAL in Year 3, planning for

  • Green Mapping & HEAL Heroes [& involving youth]
  • Coordinating healthy living messages (invite interest groups &endash; anti-smoking, cancer, diabetes, heart, AIDS, mental health, seniors….others?)

10 - 10:30

Activity break

10:30 - 12

Continuation of planning

12 - 1:00

Northern Bounty lunch prepared by Sassafras Savouries

1:00 - 2:00

Staying alive & lively &endash; sustaining ourselves and our projects, a brainstorming session on participant-generated topics such as

  • Taking Youth Forum back home
  • Fundraising
  • Proposal writing
  • Community partnerships
  • Telling our stories
  • Taking care of our spirits in hard times

2:00 - 3:00

Final plenary

  • Strategies from the brainstorming sessions
  • Closing ceremony


  • Wholistic approach to healthy eating and active living in north
  • Public awareness
  • Networking
  • Planning for HEAL's Year 3


  • Sharing
  • Community capacity
  • Web of connections
  • Legacy
  • Resources and ideas
  • Strategic plans

Caravan of Learning Youth Forum

Energetic fun & exciting learning with The Learning Shop, Hazelton, B.C.


With healthy eating / active living as the theme, youth reflect (experientially) on what they know/experience/feel about this subject. Starting from the findings of the teen survey in Hazelton, youth build on their experience.


We use theatre to explore the realities around them, for example (from the teen survey)

  • kids are hungry because parents leave them alone without food
  • youth are obese because they don't do anything anymore and are left with money to buy junk food
  • kids are obese because there is so much junk food in all the stores, pop machines in school don't promote healthy eating and so on

From whatever reality they choose we help them create skits around it; first to inform others of the reality and then to go further, to see what may be the root of the reality.

Then we challenge each youth to think about one message they'd like to give others about this. And then how we can do this. We then think about how this may make changes to who/what/where/how/when etc.


We reflect with youth about what they have learned around the topic, how they may relate to others differently because of what they have done and what have they learned about activism, citizenship, politics, etc.

And then we have a performance [Thursday evening, May 29th] where the audience participates and shares more realities.





Who's planting the seeds of HEALth?

We're individuals, organizations and communities from 100 Mile House to the Yukon border, working together to prevent Type 2 diabetes. We're a project funded by Health Canada and sponsored by the Northern Health Authority. We're spreading the word about the importance of healthy eating and active living through projects, e-lists, newsletters, news releases, presentations, networking, workshops, and the HEAL Web site.