Funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion, UAHLP was designed to increase participation of urban Aboriginal people in sport, physical fitness activities, recreation and other health promotion programmes that promote healthy lifestyle behaviours.
In October 2008, the UAHLP was launched in 16 Friendship Centres. The increased demand at the urban Aboriginal community level and the initial year's successes lead to launching the UAHLP in three additional sites, effective October 2009.
The UAHLP model is based on three core components - culture-based; wholistic; and, programme integration. UAHLP's approach to health promotion aims to restore balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the individual, family, and community, and it applies to all stages of the lifecycle. The success of the programme is founded on the concept of programme integration, meaning that UAHLP plans and/or delivers a programme with another Friendship Centre programme, such as LLCP, Wasa-Nabin, HOW, etc. In addition, it means that UAHLP creates partnerships with external agencies that provide healthy living programmes and services. For example - YMCA, Community Recreation Centres, Sports Associations, Karate Clubs, etc.
The UAHLP's success is based largely on the continued application of programme integration within the Friendship Centres. In addition, the programmes continue to maintain and enhance their community partnerships. Programmes that create an opportunity for families to participate in programming together while learning healthy eating habits/meals tend to be a huge success. The Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) programme, where it is being delivered, is showing exciting results. HEAL participants are stating that they find the programme effective because it supports a wholistic method to improving their health - enabling them to adapt healthier eating habits and get physically active in fun and recreational ways.
In 2009-2010, the UAHLP has provided healthy living programmes to 3447 participants and has established 107 external partnerships in the communities.
The "Baby & Me" - Smoke Free Programme educates and supports mothers and expectant mothers to quit smoking as early in the pregnancy as possible and/or post pregnancy. The UAHLP Workers work in partnership with the Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children (AHBHC) and Community Action Plan for Children (CAP-C)