By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

The quest to raise awareness about diabetes in First Nation communities has begun.

The Seabird Mobile Diabetes team visited the Shuswap Indian Band and the Akisqnuk First Nation to assess and offer advice to people with diabetes between October 19th to 23rd.

We will probably offer this program every year, Im going to say, said Diana Cote, Shuswap Indian Band spokesperson.

This years weeklong program was the first time that the Seabird Mobile Diabetes Team stopped in the Columbia Valley, bringing $100,000 worth of equipment to the Shuswap Indian Band and offering information to both First Nations. There was information available for participants about prediabetes, all three types of diabetes, insulin as well as the signs and symptoms of the disease.

In addition, there was preventative material available for attendees along with information about how diabetes damages ones body.

We were full, said Ms. Cote. There were members from the Akisqnuk and the Shuswap band. It was very well attended and people were extremely happy and are looking forward to having them return.

She remains optimistic that the Seabird Mobile Diabetes Team may visit the Columbia Valley again this spring.