Indigenous Health

Horizon provides health care to people living on the traditional Wabanaki territory, part of which is what is now known as New Brunswick. We are working to improve services for Indigenous people living within and outside First Nation communities.

Mi’gmaq, Wolastoqey (Maliseet) and Peskotomuhkati (Passamaquoddy) First Nation communities within New Brunswick are:

  • Amlamgog (Fort Folly)
  • Elsipogtog (Big Cove)
  • Esgenoôpetitj (Burnt Church)
  • L’nui Menikuk (Indian Island)
  • Matawaskiye (Madawaska)
  • Metepenagiag (Red Bank)

  • Natoaganeg (Eel Ground)
  • Neqotkuk (Tobique)
  • Oinpegitjoig (Pabineau)
  • Peskotomuhkati at Skutik (Passamaquoddy)
  • Bilijk (Kingsclear)
  • Sitansisk (Saint Mary’s)
  • Tjipogtotjg (Buctouche)
  • Ugpi’ganjig (Eel River Bar)
  • Welamukotuk (Oromocto)
  • Wotstak (Woodstock)

Regional Manager of Indigenous Health Programming

Aaron Hatty, a Wolastoqiyik woman from Sitansisk (St. Mary’s First Nation), is Horizon’s Regional Manager of Indigenous Health Programming, based in Fredericton and serving all of Horizon. She is a registered nurse with a master’s in nursing.

Aaron’s career has given her the opportunity to build strong relationships with Indigenous communities, who in turn provide her with the support and guidance she needs to bring teachings to Horizon.

“I get to hear stories of Indigenous patients receiving comfort through our programs whether it’s with smudging, being able to speak their language or hearing about a newborn baby receiving their first braid of sweetgrass in our hospital,” she said. “This has such a powerful impact.”

Aaron encourages everyone to acknowledge the role Indigenous identity plays in our health and wellbeing, to learn about reconciliation, and the ongoing effects of colonization and the residential school system. Read a full Q&A with Aaron here:

Indigenous Patient Navigators

Horizon has recently welcomed Indigenous Patient Navigators (IPN), Shyanne Tatton and Wanda Ward to the Population Health team.

As IPNs, Shyanne and Wanda are a resource and point of contact for Indigenous clients and their families, health care providers and community members, to ensure the provision of care is culturally safe and client centred. They facilitate access to services, including traditional healing approaches, and foster greater cultural awareness.

Originally from Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nation here in New Brunswick, Shyanne is based out of Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECRH) in Fredericton. While based out of the DECRH, Shyanne support Indigenous clients’ needs at Horizon’s Oromocto Public Hospital, Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville, and Hotel-Dieu of St. Joseph in Perth-Andover.

A proud First Nations woman from Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nation, Wanda is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper and is fluently bilingual in Mi’kmaq and English.
Based at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital, Wanda supports Indigenous clients’ needs in the Miramichi area.

IPNs open doors to a safer experience for Indigenous patients in Horizon facilities – a place where their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health will all be cared for at once.

For more information or to receive support from one of Horizon’s IPNs, please email

Traditional Indigenous Health Messages

We are proud to display a collection of posters featuring traditional Indigenous health messages within our regional facilities starting this fall.

At Horizon, we continue to work to create respectful and inclusive health services that support Indigenous culture and values.

The Horizon Indigenous Liaison Committee supported this work, which brought together beautiful artwork by local artists as well as health messages developed by the Natoaganeg Language Committee. A special thank you to Opolahsomuwehs and the Natoageneg Language Committee for translating these messages.

Natoageneg Language Committee Members: Lois Augustine, Madeline Ward, Josie Trevors, Freeman Patles, Freda Simon, Mary Ginnish and Carol Ann Francis.

Smudging Ceremonies at Horizon

Photo of smudge bowl

Smudging ceremonies are available across Horizon when requested. Horizon’s Smudging Policy ensures staff can facilitate smudging requests made by patients and their families in a safe and respectful way.

Horizon’s smudging policy was developed under the guidance of the Indigenous Liaison Committee (ILC) and the Population Health team. There was broad consultation over a two-year period, with the ILC, Elders, and key stakeholders and rights holders across Horizon.

Offering traditional smudging ceremonies when possible aligns with Horizon’s patient and family centred approach to care, and our values, and is an important step forward in strengthening Horizon’s working relationship with First Nations, while enhancing our cultural competency and the safety of our patients and clients.

Sacred Medicines

The sacred medicines of sage, sweetgrass and cedar are now available in some Horizon facilities.

Patients may request sacred medicines during their hospital stay at one of the following Horizon facilities:

  • Charlotte County Hospital (St. Stephen)
  • Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (Fredericton)
  • Hotel-Dieu St. Joseph (Perth-Andover)
  • Miramichi Regional Hospital
  • The Moncton Hospital
  • Oromocto Public Hospital
  • Saint John Regional Hospital
  • Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation (Fredericton)
  • Upper River Valley Hospital (Waterville)

Patients and families are encouraged to talk to staff about ways they can help to support your cultural and spiritual needs.

For more information on the Indigenous Liaison Committee, availability of sacred medicines or other initiatives please email

To discuss your health care experience, please click here, to contact the Patient Representative in your area.

Additional resources:

  • Learn to identify the territory you are in by visiting
  • Learn about the Truth and Reconciliation 94 calls to action
  • Learn from Indigenous voices and sources (Indigenous programming, movies, books, or podcasts)
  • Support Indigenous artwork and businesses
  • Attend open community events such as powwows