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Saskatchewan Social Innovations

1st Session, 42nd Parliament, Volume 150, Issue 147

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Chad Nilson, from the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, who informed me about two important and exciting social innovations in my home province of Saskatchewan that I hope will inspire others in Canada.

In 2011 the Hub Model of Collaborative Risk-Driven Intervention was formed in Prince Albert. This model relies upon early risk detection, limited information sharing among multiple human service sectors, and rapid deployment of interventions where individuals and families are facing situations of acutely elevated risk. To date over 70 communities in Canada are now practising this model. Evidence has shown in this approach reduces risk by connecting people to services before harm occurs.

The latest social innovation to emerge in Saskatchewan actually had its birth place on-reserve. For the past year, Muskoday First Nation has been operating the Muskoday Intervention Circle. This gathering of multiple human service providers uses the principle of the hub model to detect risk and deploy interventions.

However, the Muskoday Intervention Circle goes one step further, by integrating its health and human services to provide ongoing holistic support that helps individuals and families continue to build the stability they need for a healthy, productive lifestyle. This multi-sector coordinated support process has reduced long-standing barriers to service, helped better meet client needs and has strengthened the overall capacity of Muskoday First Nation to meet the needs of community members.

In an online video about the initiative, Muskoday Chief Austin Bear shares that, “Our people are receiving better quality services because our professionals are now integrated and collaborating.” Elder Wilfred Bear has observed that, “Through this circle, we are able to solve emerging problems before they become major issues.” Overall, reaction from the community has been very positive.

One point I would like to highlight is that all of Canada could share a valuable lesson learned in this small First Nation of 600 people. That is, that to be effective in human service delivery, we must make sure the system meets the needs of the people and not expect people to meet the needs of the system. Step by step, Muskoday First Nation is examining every component of the status quo to make sure that its own human service delivery system meets the needs of its people.

This social innovation has been replicated in Ochapowace First Nation, also in Saskatchewan.

Honourable senators, I applaud Muskoday First Nation and Ochapowace First Nation for initiating the hub model and for stepping up to mobilize resources and do what’s right for their people.


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