Call to Action # 18: Actions and Commitments

Government Recognition of Indigenous Rights to Health

October 29, 2021


$36M Investment in Mental Health and Addictions

Government of Ontario – The Ontario government is investing more than $36 million in community-led mental health and addictions supports in Indigenous communities across the province. This funding will help ensure culturally appropriate and trauma-informed supports are readily available for Indian residential school survivors and their families as well as Indigenous-led student, youth and gender-focused services.

Over $20 million in Indigenous-focused mental health and addictions programs and services to directly support Indian residential school survivors. The funding will ensure culturally appropriate, trauma-informed supports are available to both First Nations and urban Indigenous organizations as critical work is undertaken to investigate and commemorate former Indian residential school sites across Ontario.

Annualized funding of more than $16 million devoted to cross-government investments in Indigenous services to support the implementation of Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions. This includes funding for culturally adapted child and youth mental health services including wellness supports for students, Indigenous-specific victim (healing) services, and development of an Indigenous-driven opioid strategy to address the increase in opioid use, and opioid related deaths.

November 23, 2022


2022 Putting People First Annual Report: Yukon plans for reconciliation in health and social services

Of the 76 recommendations, 14 are operational, 39 are in progress and 23 have yet to be started. What follows relates specifically to Indigenous people.

Partnership with Yukon First Nations

Government-to-government work with Yukon First Nations is an essential element of system transformation and we are committed to working in partnership with First Nations governments. We have initiated bilateral discussions to co-design
an oversight structure to guide the system change forward. Cultural safety, reconciliation and health equity are principles and outcomes of the health and social system that we’re working towards and this can’t be done unless we partner with Yukon First Nations.

CHAPTER 4: Advancing reconciliation

These recommendations focus on working with Yukon First Nations to create a system that is culturally safe and to reduce health inequities for Yukon First Nations citizens.

It is important to note that we hope to work with Yukon First Nations on many recommendations, not just those in this chapter, with the goal of advancing reconciliation. Many recommendations, like the development of a health authority, are foundational parts of transforming the health and social system and cultural safety needs to be embedded from the start.

4.1 Partner with Yukon First Nations to develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated approach to cultural safety and humility that prevents racism.Shared priority: The Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy
4.2 Enhance programs and services at long-term care homes to better support First Nations residents and their families. This includes culturally focused activities, increasing staff knowledge and sensitivity, offering traditional meals, and ensuring residents’ spiritual needs are met.| Shared priority: Aging in Place Action Plan
4.3 Collaborate with Yukon First Nations governments to develop understanding of Indigenous determinants of health in Yukon and their role in health disparities, and implement effective interventions to address them, in order to eliminate the disparities in health outcomes experienced by First Nations Yukoners.
4.4 Work with Yukon First Nations, using ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP) principles, to understand health inequities within the territory and develop responses to reduce these inequities.
4.5 Work with Yukon First Nations governments and the Government of Canada to fund a rural, on-the-land mental health and substance treatment centre that incorporates: Clinical and traditional/cultural approaches (including land-based healing), Strong linkages with community-based cultural healing resources (pre- and post-treatment).Shared priority: The Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy
4.6 Partner with the Government of Canada to create a fund to support land-based healing in communities across the territory that includes program planning, infrastructure and training.| Shared priority: The Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy

NationTalk: Yukon Government: The Government of Yukon has released the first Putting People First annual report, providing an update on the work being done to implement the report’s 76 recommendations.

In April 2020, Putting People First was released following a comprehensive review of the Yukon’s health and social services and programs. In August, 2020, the Government of Yukon endorsed the report’s recommendations, which provide a roadmap to transform the territory’s health and social services system to better meet the needs of all Yukoners and create a system that is more integrated, collaborative, person-centred and culturally safe.

Of the 76 recommendations, 14 are operational, 39 are in progress and 23 have yet to be started. Some of the recommendations that are operational are:

  • doubling the medical travel benefit for Yukoners as part of enhancements to the medical travel program;
  • reducing pharmacy markups and fees to a level close to the national average;
  • hiring additional nurse practitioners to increase access to primary health care providers in Yukon communities;
  • establishing a by-name list to improve access to housing coordination;
  • creating a new Care Coordination and Medical Travel Unit to streamline care across programs and providers;
  • enhanced programs and services at long-term care homes to better support First Nations residents and their families;
  • the creation of an evidence and evaluation unit with a clear population health mandate to support the health and social system, including program area staff and care providers, with data gathering, analysis, surveillance and evaluation; and
  • the implementation of a fully-funded universal early childhood education.

A key recommendation of Putting People First is the creation of a health authority. The establishment of a health authority is a foundational step toward implementing the changes Yukoners have asked for and preliminary work on this has begun. The proposed name for the health authority is Health and Wellness Yukon, Santé et mieux-être Yukon or Shä̀w Kwä̀ ’a.

As we continue implementing the recommendations from Putting People First, we are working hard to implement the transformation of our health and social services system to better meet the needs of all Yukoners. Establishing Health and Wellness Yukon is the next big step in delivering on the transformational change Yukoners have asked of us and we look forward to sharing more information as this important work continues.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts

  • The Independent Expert Panel was created in November 2018 to lead the comprehensive review of the Yukon’s health and social programs and services. It included Yukoners and health systems experts from out of the territory.


Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Keshah Austin
Communications, Health and Social Services


Aboriginal Health Transition Fund

No formal acknowledgement of the negative impacts of previous colonial government policies

In an effort to improve the health status of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, the federal government has partnered with the provinces and territories to deliver the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund (AHTF). With three distinct funding envelopes, Integration, Adaptation and Pan-Canadian, the AHTF provides funding for Aboriginal initiatives that:

  1. improve accessibility of health programs and services for Aboriginal peoples;
  2. adapt existing health programs and services to better meet the needs of Aboriginal peoples;
  3. increase the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of programs and services that serve Aboriginal populations.

April 7, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Acknowledgement of impact on health of discriminatory government policies

“The health outcome gaps are a direct result of previous Canadian government policies… but many of those discriminatory policies that have caused the health outcome gaps remain in place… have their roots in the laws, the policies and the operational practices of this country… They were denied the right to self-determination and subjected to laws, policies and practices that were based on domination and assimilation… Where does the TRC say those rights are laid out? In international law, in constitutional law and in treaties. The path to health, safety and healing starts with the recognition and implementation of inherent treaty rights. Dr. Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services. Closing the Gap Conference – The Next 150: Reconciliation and Health

August 30, 2019


AFN-QL signs a tripartite MOU with governments of Québec and Canada

Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)as part of the AFNQL health and social services governance process with governments of Canada and Quebec. The MOU paves the way for better access to health and social services and better delivery of those services. It confirms the commitment made by all parties to address the challenges resulting from the multiple levels of jurisdiction. The MOU will also support the search for various governance models tailored to the realities and needs of Quebec First Nations. The chosen model will give First Nations the chance to develop and manage programs and provide health care and services for the benefit of their communities, according to various priorities. These services include services for seniors, children and youth; preventive services; mental health services; addiction services; psychosocial services; and other services. In 2018‒2019, federal funding of $3 million over three years was allocated to Quebec First Nations to support the governance process in health and social services.

May 3, 2021


AHRC: Systemic Indigenous racism is a major issue throughout Alberta

Alberta Human Rights Commission – Research, data, and information collected from consultations with key stakeholders indicate that systemic racism—in the health, education, child welfare, housing, and justice (including policing and corrections) systems—is a major issue facing Indigenous Peoples in Alberta. The Alberta Human Rights Commission is launching an Indigenous Human Rights Strategy to guide the Commission’s practices and initiatives with the goal of reducing barriers that Indigenous individuals and communities face. It also aims to enhance the Commission’s interaction with Indigenous Albertans and communities.

February 26, 2019


Caring for Our People – Cultural Safety Action Plan

The Government of the Northwest Territories has acknowledged the role that residential school policies have played in contributing to health disparities for Indigenous peoples.

“Caring for Our People – Cultural Safety Action Plan”

As part of the Department of Health and Social Services’ official release of the “Caring for Our People: Cultural Safety Action Plan 2018-2020” today, a Declaration of Commitment was signed to embed cultural safety within the Northwest Territories’ health and social services system. Through the implementation of the Cultural Safety Action Plan, the Government of the Northwest Territories aims to improve the health outcomes Indigenous residents and all Northerners.

An engagement process with Indigenous and northern residents, including health and social services clients, the NTHSSA Leadership Council, Regional Wellness Councils, and non-government organizations, four objectives were identified for the Action Plan.

  1. Creating an organizational culture of cultural safety.
  2. Strengthening staff capacity for cultural safety.
  3. Honouring traditional knowledge and healing approaches in care.
  4. Improving client and community experience.

After the National Dialogue on Anti-Indigenous Racism in Healthcare held on June 28-29, Julie Green, the MInister of Health and Social Services referenced the Critical Incident Investigation Report Action Plan Recommendations 2020-21: “We are embedding cultural safety throughout the health and social services system by:

  • strengthening staff capacity for cultural safety;
  • honouring traditional knowledge and healing approaches in care; and
  • improving client and community experiences.

July 24, 2017


Charter of Relationship Principles with Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Canada

Ontario also recently signed a Charter of Relationship Principles with Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Canada, and is working with other Political Territorial Organizations and First Nations partners on similar relationship documents. These will express Ontario’s commitment to collaborate with partners in creating new health systems for First Nations communities that will be led, planned and delivered by First Nations themselves.

August 24, 2015


Chiefs of Ontario Political Accord

The Chiefs of Ontario and the Government of Ontario signed a historic Political Accord to guide the relationship between First Nations and the province. The Accord creates a formal bilateral relationship framed by the recognition of the treaty relationship.

February 14, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Commitment to Indigenous consultation

Going forward, recognition of rights will guide all government relations with Indigenous peoples,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons… The new legislation and policy will be developed, he said, in consultations with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis as well as the provinces and territories and non-Indigenous Canadians that will be led by Carolyn Bennett, the Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations and supported by Jody Wilson-Raybould, the Justice Minister…Or if a group of First Nations wanted to take control of their health-care system, the government would start from the premise that they have the right to do so.”

January 16, 2019


Commitment to Reconciliation

No formal acknowledgement of the negative impacts of previous colonial government policies

The Province of Prince Edward Island is committed to advancing reconciliation with the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island in a manner consistent with Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Strategic Priorities of the Indigenous Relations Secretariat includes Work with all levels of government, including First Nations, to reduce any socio-economic gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Islanders and improve life outcomes for Aboriginal Islanders

April 3, 2019


Declaration of Commitment to Advance Cultural Safety and Humility in Health and Wellness Services

Declaration of Commitment to Advance Cultural Safety and Humility in Health and Wellness Services first launched by the First Nations Health Authority in July, 2015 with signatories of the Government of BC has now been signed by the federal departments of Indigenous Services and Health, as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada

January 28, 2021

Fed. Govt.

Distinction-based health legislation

CTV – Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced the co-development of a distinctions-based health legislation aimed at giving First Nations, Metis and Inuit people control over the delivery of health care in their communities. The announcement came at the conclusion of a two-day virtual meeting on anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health care system. Miller noted that the task is complicated by the fact that delivery of health care is jealously guarded provincial jurisdiction. But he said all provinces and territories were represented during the two-day meeting and all seem committed, to varying degrees, to tackling racism in the health system.

In her recent economic update. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland committed $15.6 million over two years to support the development of Indigenous health care legislation in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Metis leaders.

June 30, 2021


Enhanced Indigenous staffing and services to Indigenous patients

“The GNWT is the primary healthcare service provider in the territory, and we are responsible for training all staff to deliver equitable and anti-racist service to all clients and patients…It is critically important for Indigenous people to be represented in adequate numbers across the healthcare system, beginning in post-secondary health education among staff and faculty positions that are not specifically attached to an Indigenous office or mandate. NWT residents have fortunately had the opportunity to attend a nationally recognized post-secondary program in nursing education at Aurora College since 1994. This program was created in response to a need for more nurses in northern communities and has earned a reputation of excellence across the country.

“Another issue of concern is the experience of many Indigenous people as they try to navigate the complexities of the system. Several measures will be implemented in the NTHSSA to address this issue, including;

  • establishing four new positions to provide Indigenous Patient Advocates in each of our acute care units beginning this year. They will pilot a new approach to improving cultural safety and patient experience;
  • supporting Indigenous patients in resolving concerns, complaints, and questions; and bridging cultural and language barriers.

Additionally, through the establishment of an Indigenous Advisory Body (IAB) comprised of Indigenous representatives appointed by Indigenous governments, the Department of Health and Social Services receives guidance and advice on ways to infuse cultural safety, Indigenous tradition, culture, and healing practices into all aspects of our health system.

January 1, 2013


Establishment of First Nations Health Authority

B.C.’s First Nations assumed the programs, services and responsibilities in B.C. formerly handled by Health Canada’s First Nations Inuit Health Branch. It became the first, and still the only, such provincial First Nations Health Authority in Canada.

February 22, 2022

Fed. Govt., SK

Establishment of the First Nations Health Ombudsperson’s office

Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) along with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced today that the FSIN will be establishing the first ever First Nations Health Ombudsperson’s Office in the province of Saskatchewan. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $1.17 million to support this work.

The First Nations Health Ombudsperson’s office will ensure First Nations have a point of contact where they feel safe to be able to report incidents of discrimination when accessing health care services in Saskatchewan. The Ombudsperson Office’s team of advocates will work with individuals and their families to bring systemic concerns to the attention of federal and provincial health organizations for resolution. The Office will also assist in determining options to resolve conflicts or concerns for overall system change improvements.

August 5, 2021


Federal investments for Nishnawbe Aski Nation Health Services

 Indigenous Services Canada – Government committed $17.8 million over the next two years in additional federal support to Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) for their continued efforts and progress towards transforming the design and delivery of their health services. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada signed a trilateral statement with NAN and the Government of Ontario, committing to work together in partnership to support the establishment of a First Nations health services delivery system in NAN Territory that will be governed by, and accountable to, First Nations. These partners are currently working to advance the Wechedowin (Helping Each Other) document that will further articulate their key commitments towards health system reform, including the priority to create a NAN-wide health commission. This will ensure that NAN’s 49 First Nations communities, which are mostly remote and isolated, have close-to-home access to culturally safe health programs, services and supports. The Wechedowin Document is a bridge document from the 2017 Charter that further articulates partner commitments to advancing health system transformation in NAN Territory.

November 25, 2022

Fed. Govt.

Federal investments supporting First Nations-led health services and community safety in northern Manitoba

Indigenous Services Canada: Health and community safety systems that reflect the values and respond to the needs of First Nations help to improve outcomes and reduce disparities between First Nations and non-First Nations people.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, Grand Chief Garrison Settee of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and Dr. Barry Lavallee, CEO of Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM), announced federal funding to support First Nations health and community safety initiatives in northern Manitoba, including:

  • $23 million over two years for MKO and KIM to support progress towards transforming the design and delivery of health services; and,
  • More than $715,000 over three years to enhance the law-making capacity of MKO First Nations, through Indigenous Services Canada’s Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative

This health transformation investment is part of Budget 2021, which supports First Nations across Canada in creating new models of health service delivery that will increase access to quality care. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada, MKO and KIM launched the process to transfer control of federal health programs, services and functions to KIM, the recently established northern Manitoba First Nations-led health organization. The Government of Canada is committed to continuing to support MKO and KIM as they work towards systemic changes to how northern Manitoba First Nations access and receive health services.

Indigenous Services Canada and KIM are working to finalize an Agreement in Principle that will establish their future work relationships and shared priorities, which will guide the design and delivery of health care for First Nations in northern Manitoba. To this end, KIM is engaging First Nations communities to identify priorities for health and its design and structure as a new First Nations health organization.

Additionally, new federal investments in the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative will support MKO in strengthening their lawmaking capacity and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their northern Manitoba First Nations. This investment will allow MKO to advance recognition, respect, and enforcement of First Nation laws, by-laws and customary laws.

Greater self-determination and autonomy over health and community safety will result in high-quality, effective and culturally appropriate services that are tailored to First Nations communities needs.


“Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakinak and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoyawin Inc. are leading the way on Indigenous designed and led services. Today’s announcement of $23.7 million supports their work to design and deliver health care and community safety programs for their communities. Self-determination is the path to better care, healthier people and communities.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“It is the vision of the MKO First Nations that our MKO First Nation communities are the healthiest and safest places for our citizens to live. The recognition, respect, enforcement and adjudication of enforceable First Nation health and public safety standards and Laws that reflect community priorities are a key part of the path toward the health, safety and well-being of the MKO First Nations. MKO is working in partnership with KIM and Canada to develop Community Safety and Well-being Plans centered within an Indigenous world view and perspective and founded on Indigenous protocols, Customary Laws and objectives for public safety, health and wellness.”

Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

“During the pandemic, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. has demonstrated ability, and progressive leadership in health transformation for First Nations people in northern Manitoba. Our partnerships with the First Nations communities are the foundation to health transformation. The Federal government has provided solid support that will allow our team to continue to build towards a new and innovative healthcare system for First Nations. Moving forward our relationships with the Federal government, other regional parties play a significant role in changing the healthcare system.”

Dr. Barry Lavallee
CEO, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc.

Quick facts

  • In 2018, the federal government and the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards First Nation-led health care transformation in MKO territory.
  • First Nations health transformation is a collaborative process between Canada, First Nations partners, and provinces and territories, as they develop new First Nations-led health organizations to assume greater control of the design, administration, management, and delivery of health services and programs that support community wellness and address their health needs and priorities.
  • Budget 2021 included $107 million over 3 years to support First Nations health transformation with partners across the country.
  • Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM), which in Cree means “Northern Peoples’ Wellness”, was established in January 2020.
  • KIM is a First Nations health organization that represents 23 First Nations and has the mandate to ensure northern First Nations people in Manitoba have access to health related services that are reflective of the needs and priorities of First Nations people.
  • Many KIM communities are located in rural and remote locations and do not have year-round road access, which has resulted in additional challenges to delivering affordable health, education, and social services.
  • The Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative is providing $103.8 million over 5 years to assist First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and partners, both on and off reserves, to implement Indigenous-designed projects to improve community safety and well-being. The funding provided by ISC to enhance the lawmaking capacity of MKO First Nations is part of this overall investment.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Alison Murphy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Philip Paul-Martin
Communications Officer
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

Michael Dubé

Communications Coordinator
Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc.

July 9, 2021


Federal investments to Nishnawbe Aski Nation Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program

Minister of Indigenous Services, announced $2,657,560 to support the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program, a unique First Nation-led initiative responding to the specific health needs of community members in northern Ontario. It will identify the mental health and wellness services that are already available, and bridge the existing gaps so that every individual can have access to culturally safe and community based mental health services when needed.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) eHealth and Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) will run the program, which is designed to provide community members with equal access to high-quality, culturally safe substance use treatment and mental health services with direct input from communities. The services will be coordinated, delivered and promoted by the Regional Health Authorities, Tribal Councils, and community organizations within the NAN region, and will offer access to 24/7 culturally appropriate crisis supports, triage and live service navigation, improved usage of tele-mental health supports, and will help eliminate duplication in existing mental health and problematic substance use services.

January 1, 2003


Formal apology for treatment of Indigenous people

The B.C. government expressed its deep regret for the mistakes of past governments in their treatment of Aboriginal people. The Province acknowledged that no words can undo the damage done for past actions and that it is the responsibility of people today to heal these wounds.

November 23, 2022


Growing 211’s mental health and addiction support capacity

  • Connect callers from rural and Indigenous communities with increased culturally and locally relevant supports.
  • NationTalk: Alberta’s government is investing more than $15 million over three years to help connect Albertans to local addiction and mental health services.

    As part of building a recovery-oriented system of care, Alberta’s government is doubling 211 funding from $7.5 million to more than $15 million over three years to help people of all ages access critical addiction and mental health support services in their communities.

    211 provides a single point of contact for information and seamless connections to health services and organizations that support a range of addiction and mental health challenges.

    “Increasing funding for 211 is part of our government’s efforts to build a recovery-oriented system of care for mental health and addiction. Every month, thousands of Albertans across the province are reaching out to 211 for help, support and referrals to local services in their communities. For many of them, it’s a life-changing call.”

    Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

    Doubling 211’s funding will enable the call centre to significantly increase its capacity to help more Albertans, improve the way they connect people to services and enhance the referral services and crisis supports it offers. 211’s increased capacity will allow the service to:

    • Meet current call volumes, which have remained high since 2020.
    • Connect callers from rural and Indigenous communities with increased culturally and locally relevant supports.
    • Develop and implement a community engagement strategy to increase the understanding of the needs and challenges faced by underserved populations.
    • Develop and implement specialized navigation supports for children, youth and families.
    • Continue expanding the digital navigation and crisis support hub that allows for seamless transfers between virtual resources.

    These additional supports will help this proven, time-tested virtual resource connect Albertans to essential services within Alberta’s recovery-oriented system of care.

    “211 Alberta is a critical service that helps all Albertans access social sector supports they need, when and where they need it. This United Way initiative has never been more essential than right now, and this increased funding will help us show more Albertans where they can turn for help. 211 is an easy, barrier-free, 3-digit entry point to get help and support, available 24/7, across Alberta.”

    Rob Yager, president & CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region

    “Expansion of 211 services will enable people to access much-needed care, including evidence-based addiction services like what we offer at Alberta’s Virtual Opioid Dependency Program. Alberta is a leading jurisdiction at helping people connect with much-needed opioid addiction treatment on demand. In fact, today any Alberta resident can start treatment when and where they need it, with no cost and with no waitlist. Any steps taken to better work together and provide more straightforward access for those seeking help is going to benefit Albertans, their families and communities on their path to recovery.”

    Dr. Nathaniel Day, medical director VODP, Central Zone, Alberta Health Services

    “CASA’s vision is a community where every family has access to timely mental health care and is empowered to thrive. We receive many of our young patients through provincial referrals, and expanding 211 Alberta brings us one step closer to that vision by connecting families to critical resources like those offered by CASA Mental Health and other community partners. This is the power of collaboration.”

    Bonnie Blakley, chief executive officer, CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health

    “We’re working to make sure that Albertans have access to high-quality, affordable counselling services no matter where they live. Virtual supports like 211 are an important gateway to services like ours, helping more Albertans find the help they need to improve their mental health.”

    Robbie Babins-Wagner, chief executive officer, Calgary Counselling Centre

    Fed. Govt.

    Health Services Integration Fund

    Health Services Integration Fund is a five-year initiative supporting collaborative planning and multi-year projects aimed at better meeting the health-care needs of First Nations and Inuit. Through HSIF, Health Canada is working with other Provincial, Territorial and First Nations and Inuit organizations to:

    • improve the integration of federally-funded health services in First Nations and Inuit communities with those funded by the provinces and territories;
    • build multi-party partnerships to advance health service integration;
    • improve First Nations and Inuit access to health services; and
    • increase the participation of First Nations and Inuit in the design, delivery, and evaluation of health programs and services.

    June 23, 2021


    Health Standards Organization Draft Standard

    Health Standards Organization (HSO), in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), is pleased to open a public review on its new British Columbia (B.C.) First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cultural Safety and Humility standard (HSO 75000:2022 E Cultural Safety and Humility B.C.).

    The draft standard, which is the first ​​​of its kind in Canada, was developed by a First Nations-led Technical Committee in B.C., with additional input from Métis Nation B.C. It aims to create a culturally safe environment for Indigenous people in the health system, encourage health care providers to provide care with humility and end Indigenous-specific racism.

    The draft standard will be available for public review and feedback from June 23 to August 23, 2021. “This new standard is a fundamental part of our efforts to eradicate systemic racism in the B.C. health system,” said Richard Jock, FNHA’s Chief Executive Officer. “What you can measure as success, you can change.”

    February 14, 2018


    Improving access to care

    Ontario and Indigenous partners are working together to improve access to care and increase the involvement of Indigenous communities in developing and delivering their health services. This includes direct funding for communities to enhance access to care, funding for services as well as training opportunities, and identifying opportunities for greater First Nations control over the design and delivery of health care services in the future, including:

    • Home Care
    • Primary Care
    • Palliative Care
    • Mental Health and Wellness
    • Healing and Treatment Centres

    June 1, 2018


    Indigenous Health in the New Saskatchewan Health Authority: Summary of Findings

    No formal acknowledgement of the negative impacts of previous colonial government policies

    Release of “Indigenous Health in the New Saskatchewan Health Authority: Summary of Findings”. The 2016 Saskatchewan Advisory Panel on Health System Structure Report includes a recommendation to engage with Indigenous people to help inform how best to address First Nations and Métis health needs in a culturally responsive and respectful manner. Both reports clearly identify that health system changes are needed in order to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in the province.

    In accordance with the Advisory Panel’s recommendation, an Indigenous Health Working Group (IHWG) was formed for the months leading up to the transition to a single health authority (May through November 2017). The mandate of the IHWG was recommendation five on the advisory report.

    5. Engage with Indigenous people to help inform how best to address First Nations and Métis health needs in a culturally responsive and respectful manner. In particular, the following should be examined:

    • Appropriate representation in the governance of the Provincial Health Authority;
    • Ensuring community advisory networks are reflective of the ethnicity and culture of the community; and
    • Establishing a senior administrative role within the Provincial Health Authority with the responsibility for ensuring health care services respect the Fist Nation and Métis patient experience.

    October 2, 2018


    Indigenous Health Transformational Roadmap 2018-2020

    Release of “Indigenous Health Transformational Roadmap 2018-2020”. The Introduction states: “Any action in Indigenous health begins with knowing: the historical impact of legislation and policies on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples in Canada, the current state of Indigenous health, and the health care rights of Indigenous peoples as laid out in international law, constitutional law, and under the Treaties”.

    Strategic Direction # 1 – Align with the TRC Call to Action # 18

    • Establish an organization-wide commitment statement on the TRC calls to action, UN Declaration, Treaties and acknowledgement of Indigenous health-care rights
    • Recognize and shape into policy the health care rights of Indigenous peoples

    May 25, 2016


    Investments for access to health services with a focus on the north

    Ontario is investing nearly $222 million over the next three years to ensure Indigenous people have access to more culturally appropriate care and improved outcomes, focusing on the North where there are significant gaps in health services. This investment will be followed by sustained funding of $104.5 million annually to address health inequities and improve access to culturally appropriate health services over the long term.  

    December 17, 2020


    Investments for COVID-19 culturally safe services

    As part of a $147M COVID-19 relief package, $8 million is dedicated for targeted, culturally safe services for Indigenous peoples, including land-based programming, and culturally safe and age-appropriate mental health and addictions supports, including wellness supports for children and youth. In addition, over $51.5 million will go towards a cross-sectoral approach to support vulnerable populations, including First Nations communities, Metis, Inuit and urban Indigenous peoples.

    February 14, 2020


    Investments in community-based mental health and addiction services

    Ontario is expanding mental health, addictions and well-being services for First Nations and Indigenous organizations, helping to provide culturally-appropriate services closer to home by investing $1.2 million in additional funding to expand community-based mental health and addictions services provided by First Nations and Indigenous organizations.

    • Batchewana First Nation to expand existing mental health and wellness programs to offer a combination of clinical care and traditional healing and operate a new mental health and addictions aftercare program for post-treatment clients.
    • Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority to establish a team of specialized mental health professionals including counsellors, an expressive arts therapist and clinical psychologist, to provide care to First Nations youth in northwestern Ontario with acute mental health needs.

    The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres to expand mental health and wellness programs that will serve more community members.

    October 9, 2019


    Investments in enhanced and expanded health and addictions programming

    Announced enhanced and expanded mental health and addictions programming for youth with three new initiatives today.  The investments, which total $2.94 million over three years, include:

    • $823,000 to the NorWest Youth Hub, to increase mental health and addictions counselling, Indigenous cultural supports, primary health care, as well as recreation and training opportunities for youth aged 14 to 24;
    • $621,000 to Project 11, which provides virtual and in-person lessons and activities designed to improve mental health awareness and positive coping strategies for students in kindergarten to Grade 8; and
    • $1.5 million to expand the distribution of Thrival Kits to grades 4 to 6 students across the province.

    November 5, 2020


    Investments to enhance cultural safety for First Nations and Inuit in health and social services

     The government will invest $15 million to implement targeted actions to enhance cultural safety for members of First Nations and Inuit in the health and social services sector. The cultural safety approach consists in recognizing and taking into account of the reality and culture of the person, in the delivery of services and in the care experience, in order to provide relevant services and as a result to improve service quality and access to these services. The cultural safety approach involves working with members of First Nations and Inuit in order to build a relationship of respect and lasting trust. The implementation of a culturally safe approach in the health and social services network will contribute to strengthening practices devoid of prejudice and to fighting against racism and discrimination.

    This announcement follows several calls to action by the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec. One of the objectives targeted is to ensure service and program delivery in keeping with the principles of cultural safety, in a context of ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples. By aiming for cultural safety in health and social services, the government is thus providing a response to certain issues of accessibility and quality of public services.

    March 4, 2021


    Investments to expand Indigenous mental health and addictions services

    Ontario government is investing over $12.8 million to immediately expand and enhance culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services for Indigenous peoples, families and communities across the province (part of the $176 million being invested in the government’s mental health and addictions plan, Roadmap to Wellness). The government is making investments to expand and enhance community-based mental health supports and services in collaboration with Indigenous partners and through targeted programs focused on Indigenous children and youth, including:

    • $6.875 million to increase the capacity of community-based and Indigenous-led supports, including the Family Well-Being Program, which provides needs-based services for young Indigenous people in the youth justice system who have complex mental health and substance use needs. The funding will also be used to recruit two community-based mental health and addiction liaisons to help Indigenous-led organizations better address the complex needs of Indigenous survivors of human trafficking;
    • $1.4 million in enhanced community mental health and addictions services and programs in Indigenous-governed primary care teams;
    • $1.412 million to help address gaps and barriers that Indigenous students and their families experience in the school system and support educational retention and success by:
      • increasing funding to Indigenous Graduation Coaches to increase outreach and support during the summer months;
      • funding the development of culturally appropriate cannabis training and resources for Indigenous students;
      • funding the development of a new strength-based initiative to support young Indigenous women and girls who have lived experience of violence, and/or who have witnessed violence in their families and communities; and
      • funding the implementation of the model for Trauma-Informed Schools as a system-wide model.
    • $1.375 million annually over ten years to support the creation and implementation of 11 new Social Emergency Manager positions in Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT#3) First Nation communities, which will build capacity around social emergency prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts;
    • $1 million to expand the child and adolescent psychiatry program based in Thunder Bay, with satellite service locations across Northwestern Ontario; and
    • $900,000 to support additional Indigenous focused mental health and addictions services and programs related to community safety and education

    May 30, 2018


    Lack of health services offered in Inuktitut

    The lack of health services offered in Indigenous languages is impeding the delivery of care to Indigenous populations, according to Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, which administers treaty rights for the 49 000 Inuit inhabitants of Nunavut. The first language of 75% of the Inuit population in Nunavut is Inuktitut, yet patients are unlikely to hear it spoken by health care providers.

    October 12, 2018


    New health facility for Eskasoni First Nation

    No formal acknowledgement of the negative impacts of previous colonial government policies

    Eskasoni First Nation, District of Unama’ki in the traditional un-ceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people celebrated the grand opening of a new, state-of-the-art health centre more than twice the size of the former space that makes it the largest on-reserve health centre in the Atlantic Region. Indigenous Services Canada provided an investment of $6.6M for this project, and Eskasoni First Nation contributed $3.5M.

    The new facility will enable access to quality care in the community by supporting a wide-range of health services and programs under one roof, including a dental clinic and pharmacy. The health centre will provide space for programs and services for people of all ages, including mental wellness, health promotion, disease prevention and primary care. Eskasoni First Nation is the largest Mi’kmaq community in the Atlantic Region. It is located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and has an on-reserve population of approximately 3,867 people

    January 7, 2020


    New Public Health Act

    Nunavut’s new Public Health Act came into force January 1, replacing the version carried over from the Northwest Territories. This new and improved legislation works to modernize the territory’s health system and recognizes the unique needs of Nunavummiut.

    Minister of Health George Hickes aid, “The new Act modernizes our public health legislation to ensure processes in place to keep Nunavummiut safe and healthy, ensuring Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit are the legislation’s guiding principles.” Nunavut’s Public Health Act establishes measures relating to health protection and promotion, population health assessment, public health surveillance, disease and injury prevention, and public health emergency preparedness and response. It also outlines requirements in food and water safety, sanitation, and reporting and responding to communicable diseases to strengthen health protection.

    March 23, 2021


    Nishnawbe Aski Nation Relationship Accords

    Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) celebrate the signing of Relationship Accords with the following organizations:

    • Ornge
    • University Health Network – Peter Munk Cardiac Unit
    • Paramedics Association of Canada
    • Canadian Red Cross
    • Northern Ontario School of Medicine
    • Relationship Accords will be signed tomorrow with the following partners:
    • Ontario College of Family Physicians
    • Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
    • Association of Ontario Midwives

    Through these Accords, NAN will work in collaboration with partners for improved health outcomes for communities and bring meaningful improvement in health care across NAN territory. This includes practice guidelines, quality improvement and development tools, culturally specific training and awareness, practice support and strengthening communications. Health Transformation is a community-led process where NAN First Nations are engaged at all levels. Signed in 2017, the Charter of Relationship Principles Governing Health System Transformation in NAN Territory expresses the commitments of NAN, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada to work in a renewed multilateral Nation-to-Nation relationship intended to result in immediate, medium, and long-term transformative change to the existing health system at the NAN community level.


    No formal acknowledgement

    No formal acknowledgement of the negative impacts of previous colonial government policies

    November 29, 2022


    NS Government: Province Seeks Feedback on Racism, Discrimination in Healthcare

    NationTalk: The Province is asking diverse groups to share their experiences in order to improve Nova Scotia’s healthcare system.

    The Department of Health and Wellness and health system partners have launched an online survey to collect feedback from communities that might have experienced systemic racism and discrimination in the healthcare system. This includes Indigenous people, African Nova Scotians and people of African descent, racialized groups, 2SLGBTIQA+ people, those with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and historically underrepresented populations.

    “We know every Nova Scotian should receive the same quality of healthcare, but we also know they don’t. Systemic racism and discrimination impact the care people receive,” said Brian Comer, Minister responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “We need to hear more about the experiences of people from diverse communities in our health system to make the necessary changes to provide better care.”

    The survey can be found at and will be open until January 27.

    Information from the survey will be used to develop a health equity framework to help improve the system, both for diverse groups who use it and staff.

    The Province has begun reaching out to representatives from diverse communities to encourage people to complete the survey.


    The health equity framework is a vital piece of work to improve the health experiences and health outcomes of diverse communities and create a healthier, safer and more equitable work experience for team members.
    – Anna Marenick, Vice-President of People, Culture and Belonging, Nova Scotia Health

    Our students have not only been patients of the healthcare system, but they are also pursuing a career in that same system. We are keenly aware of the changes that are needed for patients and their families that have experienced a health system with systemic discrimination and racism, but also the challenges of discrimination and racism that health professionals from equity-seeking groups have encountered on the job.
    – Timi Idris, Program Manager, Promoting Leadership in Health for African Nova Scotians (PLANS), Dalhousie University

    Racism, discrimination and bias have no place in healthcare or our workplaces. We have a duty to ensure healthcare is accessible, welcoming and inclusive for everyone. We are committed to listening and developing a framework together with our community that will lead to real change.
    – Steve Ashton, Vice-President, People and Organization Development, IWK Health Centre

    Quick Facts:

    • the Province is committed to creating a health equity framework as part of Action for Health, the government’s strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia
    • the framework is expected to be complete by July 2023
    • in October, the Province announced the Fair Care Project, which gives Nova Scotians the option to provide race and language information when they renew their health card (MSI) as a means to help make the healthcare system more equitable and responsive to communities’ health needs

    Additional Resources:

    Action for Health:

    October 14, 2022


    Ontario Announces Three New Northern Ontario Health Teams

    NationTalk: TORONTO — The Ontario government, in partnership with Ontario Health, has approved three new Ontario Health Teams in Northern Ontario that will break down barriers in people’s health care to provide connected and more convenient care.

    “These three new Ontario Health Teams will improve the way people access health care by ensuring they can more easily and seamlessly access the supports and services they need,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The new Ontario Health Teams will also support more connected care between a person’s various providers, which is especially important to meet the unique needs of rural, remote, Indigenous, Francophone and other diverse communities.”

    The three new Ontario Health Teams are:

    • Maamwesying Ontario Health Team, serving Indigenous communities in Northeastern Ontario, including the urban Indigenous population in Sault Ste. Marie;
    • City & District of Thunder Bay Ontario Health Team, serving Thunder Bay and the surrounding region; and
    • Kiiwetinoong Healing Waters Ontario Health Team, serving Dryden, Red Lake and Sioux Lookout.

    Working together, the new Ontario Health Teams will help patients experience easier transitions from one provider to another, with one patient record and one care plan being shared between their health care providers for a continuous patient story. They’ll have convenient access to connected providers who can better meet all of their health care needs. Ontarians can be confident that under an Ontario Health Team, they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have to access the health care they need.

    With these new teams, Ontario will have a total of 54 Ontario Health Teams. The Ministry of Health has also invited four new potential teams to complete full applications to become approved Ontario Health Teams. Once approved, these remaining teams would result in the province achieving its goal of full provincial coverage, ensuring everyone has the support of an Ontario Health Team. These four remaining teams are:

    • Équipe Ontario Cochrane District Team;
    • Équipe Sudbury Espanola Manitoulin Elliot Lake Team;
    • Équipe des régions du Temiskaming Area Team; and
    • West Parry Sound Team.

    Quick Facts

    • Ontario Health Teams bring together health care providers from across health and community sectors, including primary care, hospitals, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, and long-term care, as one collaborative team to better coordinate care and share resources.
    • An Ontario Health Team is responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, easing their transition from one provider to another, directly connecting them to different types of care, and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
    • As Ontario moves forward with the government’s transformative plan for Ontario’s health care system, the province recognizes the important role that Indigenous communities and organizations have in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of programs and services for their communities. The Ministry of Health continues to work with First Nations communities through dedicated trilateral processes and relationship agreements to explore options to transform First Nations’ health.
    • During 2021-2022, over $48.4 million in funding was allocated for digital health and virtual care projects, with 229 approved Ontario Health Teams projects, impacting over 792,000 patients across all projects. The Ontario government is expecting similar types of opportunities to be available again in 2022-2023.
    • Ontario Health Teams integration has been a priority in design and implementation of Health Connect Ontario. Ontario Health Teams will continue to be engaged and involved in the governance and co-design of this service as it evolves.


    “Our government is adding Ontario Health Teams to serve the North, understand the unique health needs across the region and provide higher standards of care. I am confident that these investments will lead to better health outcomes for Northerners as we move forward with our transformative plan to build an integrated health care system centered on the needs of patients.”
    – Greg Rickford
    MPP for Kenora-Rainy River

    “I am excited to see the City and District of Thunder Bay receive an Ontario Health Team. Among other health care, the team will focus on developing and implementing streamlined access to community mental health and addictions services. This is something that is much needed in my riding.”
    – Kevin Holland
    MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan

    “Our government is committed to breaking down barriers in patients’ health care journeys to ensure they receive better and faster care that meets their unique needs. The Maamwesying Ontario Health Team is a positive step towards that goal.”
    – Ross Romano
    MPP for Sault Ste. Marie

    “It’s imperative that our approach to healthcare is centred around Ontarians and what they really need. I am excited for these new teams in Northern Ontario and have seen first hand their commitment to meeting the unique needs of the communities they serve.”
    – Betty-Lou Kristy
    Chair of the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council

    Additional Resources

    Media Contacts

    Anna Miller
    Communications Division

    Hannah Jensen
    Minister Jones’ Office

    December 1, 2022


    Province provides update on work addressing racism in B.C. health care

    NationTalk: VICTORIA – The Ministry of Health has released a progress report on government’s steps to address Indigenous-specific racism in B.C.’s health-care system, as recommended in the In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care report.

    Government is committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people. Eradicating Indigenous-specific racism in British Columbia remains a top priority.

    “To mark the second anniversary of the In Plain Sight report, we are releasing a snapshot of progress made on the recommendations in the first year after the release of the report,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this short time, but recognize much more needs to be done. I look forward to continuing this work with Indigenous leaders, health-system partners and health authorities throughout B.C.”

    The progress report is the first of its kind and has been informed by the collective work of many organizations throughout the province, including health authorities, colleges and regulatory bodies, the Métis Nation BC, the First Nations Health Authority, and internal ministry partners. It highlights progress made on recommendations contained in the In Plain Sight report and will serve as a road map for future government activity, since it highlights both where progress has been made and where further efforts are needed.

    Dix said: “While B.C. has made important progress, there is much more work to do to eradicate Indigenous-specific racism, foster cultural humility and create cultural safety to support improved health outcomes for all Indigenous people in B.C. The Province remains absolutely committed to implementing all 24 recommendations of In Plain Sight, and we will continue to work together with Indigenous Peoples, all orders of government, health-system partners, individuals, service providers, regulatory bodies and health-system leadership to make this commitment a reality.”

    Learn More:
    To read the In Plain Sight progress report, visit:

    To learn about the In Plain Sight Report, visit:

    To learn about the In Plain Sight Task Team, visit:

    A backgrounder follows.


    Ministry of Health Communications
    250 952-1887 (media line)

    Significant developments in government services

    As noted in the progress report, some significant developments have occurred across government related to specific recommendations made in the In Plain Sight report between May 2021 and May 2022:

    • Changes have been made to the Human Rights Code of B.C. to include Indigenous identity as a protected ground for individuals from discrimination:
    • Changes to the Public Interest Disclosure Act now includes more public-sector employees, and these changes are being phased in with health authority employees coming under the act in June 2023:
    • Changes made to the Interpretation Amendment Act further support alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and ensure that the interpretation of acts within B.C. must be consistent with UNDRIP and that the rights of Indigenous Peoples are not diminished through other provincial acts:
    • A new Anti-Racism Data Act was introduced as a step to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous, Black and people of colour. Data collected under the act will help identify gaps in programs and services, and allow government to better meet the needs of Indigenous, Black and racialized British Columbians. The act is the first of its kind in Canada to be co-developed with Indigenous Peoples:
    • In alignment with Recommendation 8, the final stages of the development of the First Nations Health Authority and Health Standards Organization (FNHA-HSO) BC Cultural Safety and Humility Standard are complete.
    • Conversations are taking place regarding the improvement of Indigenous feedback and quality care systems through the In Plain Sight Task Team.
    • Many of the large capital projects in B.C., including new hospitals, are planning and designing safe spaces to support cultural practices and protocols, while strengthening their collaboration and relationships with local Indigenous communities and leaders (Recommendation 10).


    Ministry of Health Communications
    250 952-1887 (media line)

    December 8, 2020


    Québec response to MMIWG Calls to Justice # 20 and # 21

    Québec government directly responds to Calls to Justice 20 and 21 from the MMIWG Supplementary Report on Québec by tabling a draft Act to authorize the communication of personal information to the families of Indigenous children who went missing or died after being admitted to an institution.

     20. WE CALL UPON the Québec government to provide Indigenous families with all the information it has about children who have been apprehended following admission to a hospital or any other health center in Québec;

    The Bill is designed to provide a practical way for Indigenous families to obtain information from a health and social services institution, an organization or a religious congregation about the circumstances in which a child disappeared or died after being admitted to a health and social services establishment up to 1989. Once passed the Act, will, under certain conditions, make it possible to disclose information to these Indigenous families. Specifically, the Act introduces exemptions from the current rules on access that prevent the release of information to families.

    21. WE CALL UPON the Government of Quebec to establish a commission of inquiry on the children taken from Indigenous families in Quebec

    It also gives the Minister a power of inquiry when elements shedding light on the circumstances of a child’s disappearance or death exist, but cannot be disclosed under current rules.

    The MMIWG Supplementary report on Quebec reviews instances of Indigenous children including a number of Atikamekw babies disappearing with no explanation from institutions in Québec including from a hospital from Joliette

    May 13, 2022


    Renewal of Vancouver Island Partnership Accord​

    NationTalk: A renewed commitment to improve the health and wellness outcomes of all First Nations people living in the Island Health region was made between the First Nations Health Authority, Island Health and the Vancouver Island Regional Caucus representing the 50 Nations on Vancouver Island through the signing of the renewed Vancouver Island Partnership Accord​.

    A signing ceremony was held in Nanaimo on April 28 and was witnessed by Chiefs, Elders and community members from Nations across the Island.

    “The partnerships between FNHA and our regional health authorities are crucial to ensuring key decision-makers in each organization are able to meet and make the timely, important decisions related to improving First Nation’s peoples’ health”, said Richard Jock, CEO of FNHA. “The Partnership Accord is a foundational piece that leaders in FNHA and Island Health can use to build stronger relationships between their operational teams, and more efficiently implement priorities set out by the Regional Caucus. A strong partnership with our regional health authority enables us to tackle these issues together in true reconciliation.”

    First signed in 2012 and updated in 2016, the latest 2022 update to the Accord reflects the ongoing growth, evolution and strengthening of the partnerships and directs the development of joint work plans to support the implementation of their shared priorities.

    “Island Health is committed to working with our partners to improve the health outcomes of First Nations people on Vancouver Island by ensuring that we have accessible and culturally-safe health services across our region”, said Kathy MacNeil, CEO of Island Health. “This latest refresh of the Accord allows us to get clarity on what really matters, address concerns for care, and look at innovative, creative and supportive ways to better serve our First Nations population.”

    The Accord speaks to reciprocal accountability that emphasizes collaboration and collective action as a way of accelerating improvement to First Nations health and wellness.

    “To me and my family, the refresh of the Accord will indicate our continual commitment towards strengthening our relationship to provide a better health care system for all”, said TELAXTEN, FNHC representative for South Island, Coast Salish, Vancouver Island Region. ​“We have been entrusted to move forward in the best way possible.”

    Each of the organizations signing the 2022 Accord will be accountable for contributing to a joint work plan, providing appropriate levels of support for its implementation, and monitoring and reporting on progress each year.

    January 12, 2016


    Response to TRC Final Report

    Deputy Ministers’ Report to the Premier on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Report

    The Government of Yukon acknowledges that Aboriginal people in Yukon, and their descendants, continue to be affected by the devastating impacts of the Indian Residential School system. The Yukon government has also indicated that addressing this legacy is a significant priority. The residential school system is part of our shared history; the work called for by the TRC is part of our shared future.

    Key work done to date: Aboriginal healing practices in health care:

    • Health and Social Services is taking measures to ensure that addictions programming and the environment in the new Sarah Steele detox facility supports First Nations peoples.
    • All new Continuing Care facility designs include healing centres and First Nations food preparation areas to ensure access to Aboriginal healing practices.
    • Health and Social Services funds First Nation Health programs through the Hospital Corporation in Whitehorse, Watson Lake and Dawson.

    June 18, 2020


    Southern Chiefs’ Organization Health and Wellness MOU with Canada

    Anishinaabeg and Dakota peoples will assume greater control of their health and wellness, as a result of an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization. “The path forward to improved health outcomes for First Nations must include high quality, culturally-safe health systems that are designed by and under the leadership of First Nations,” said Minister Miller. “This Memorandum of Understanding, together with significant investment, will not only help the Southern Chiefs’ Organization address gaps in the health care system, but will also assist in bringing much needed health care services closer to Manitoba First Nation communities, and improve health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples living in their home communities.”

    In 2019, the SCO Chiefs-in-Summit passed a resolution supporting the health transformation process called “Exercising our Treaty and Inherent Right to Health”. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.

    September 23, 2020

    Fed. Govt.

    Speech from the Throne

    Speech from the Throne included: “Expediting work to co-develop distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation, and a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy”.

    September 19, 2019


    The Health Status of and Access to Healthcare by Registered First Nations

    Release of “The Health Status of and Access to Healthcare by Registered First Nation Peoples in Manitoba” that acknowledges that “The analysis and interpretation of findings in this report acknowledge “that the current state of Aboriginal health in Canada is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies, including residential schools” [1].

    March 15, 2016


    The Path to Reconciliation Act

    The Path to Reconciliation Act acknowledges that Indigenous people within Canada have been subject to a wide variety of human rights abuses since European contact and that those abuses have caused great harm… that reconciliation is founded on respect for Indigenous nations and Indigenous peoples and their history, languages and cultures, and reconciliation is necessary to address colonization;

    December 21, 2020


    The Path to Reconciliation Act Annual Progress Report 2020

    An Advisory Committee was established for the development of the draft Indigenous Partnership Strategy Framework (IPSF) that included seventeen Indigenous members with extensive knowledge in the Indigenous health field. The framework was developed to enable culturally relevant and appropriate engagement with First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations and communities in Manitoba’s Health System Transformation. Four key guiding principles were used:

    • Indigenous History
    • Traditional Knowledge and Wellness
    • Indigenous and Human Rights
    • Systems and Structures

    January 1, 1970


    The Path to Reconciliation Annual Report: 2018, 2019

    Each subsequent report provides more details on progress made in the following areas:

    • Closing the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations
    • Recognizing and using Indigenous healing practices
    • Improving cultural competencies
    • Increasing the number of Indigenous professionals in the health care system

    June 1, 2017


    The Path to Reconciliation Annual Report: Improving Health Outcomes

    The Path to Reconciliation Annual Report: Improving Health Outcomes

    Manitoba’s commitment to reconciliation has particular focus on addressing the persistent and long-standing negative impacts of residential schools and reconciling relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Manitoba.

    The legacy of colonialism and residential schools led to disruptions in Indigenous child rearing practices and parenting skills among Indigenous families. Manitoba is working to address this by supporting the health of families, mothers and babies through family health and healthy lifestyle programs. Manitoba supports children and adults living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), addresses jurisdictional disputes to ensure that public service delivery for First Nation children and families are not delayed and provides supports for Indigenous children with disabilities.

    July 6, 2022

    BC, Fed. Govt.

    University of Northern BC institutes working to increase safety and respect for Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s health systems

    Indigenous Services Canada: Prince George, unceded lands of the Lheidli T’enneh people, British Columbia —

    The National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (NCCIH) and the Health Arts Research Centre (HARC), both housed at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), are receiving new funds to support health care professionals to address anti-Indigenous racism, practise in anti-oppressive ways, and foster cultural humility.

    The Hearts-based Education and Anticolonial Learning (HEAL) health care project, which is a joint initiative between the NCCIH and HARC, is anchored in training and education focused on health care students and professionals to create better health outcomes for Indigenous people. The two-year project will promote cultural safety and recognize Indigenous knowledge and anti-colonial approaches in health service provision—central to achieving the goal of eliminating anti-Indigenous racism in health systems.

    Indigenous Services Canada is proud to support this important project with a $1-million contribution over two years, starting in 2022.

    The Government of Canada is committed to continuing to work with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners, and all those who work in health care to increase safety and respect for Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s health systems.


    “I congratulate the National Collaborating Centre and the University of Northern British Columbia for their important work to make health care safer for Indigenous Peoples. The Hearts-based Education and Anticolonial Learning (HEAL) project will train health care professionals to recognize and end racism and discrimination in health systems. This critical work will hopefully inspire other organizations across the country and spur faster changes that result in compassionate and competent care for Indigenous Peoples in all health care systems across Canada.”

    The Honourable Patty Hajdu
    Minister of Indigenous Services

    “We need to remember that achieving optimal health has always involved both the arts and sciences. We need to remember that transformational change, including much-needed anti-colonial change in health care, requires shifts in both feelings and thoughts. It’s about head and heart work. We’re excited to put arts and humanities to work in the service of cultural humility and anti-oppression.”

    Dr. Sarah de Leeuw
    Canada Research Chair, Humanities and Health Inequities
    Research Director, Health Arts Research Centre
    Professor, UBC Northern Medical Program (based at UNBC)

    “The National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health is proud to be partnering in this absolutely critical work with and for Indigenous Peoples in Canada and beyond. The initiative takes a strength-based approach and creates a safe learning environment for all. The goal is to realize transformation and change in the health care system that supports everyone’s optimal health and well-being.”

    Dr. Margo Greenwood, Academic Leader
    National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health

    “Addressing anti-Indigenous racism in our colonial systems is key to advancing conversations and actions around Truth and Reconciliation. Access to health care in a system that is free of bias is fundamental to advancing the well-being of Indigenous people and communities. I’m excited to follow the work of all involved, and thank Dr. Greenwood and Dr. de Leeuw and our colleagues at the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health and the Health Arts Research Centre for their ongoing commitment to this critical area of need.”

    Dr. Geoffrey Payne, President and Vice-Chancellor
    University of Northern British Columbia

    Quick facts

    • In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed to providing $126.7 million over three years to take action to foster health systems free from racism and discrimination, where Indigenous Peoples are respected and safe.
    • This included $33.3 million to improve access to culturally safe services, with a focus on services for Indigenous women, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups who may experience intersecting discrimination. This includes expanding support for Indigenous midwifery and doula initiatives and strengthening funding for national Indigenous women’s organizations, as well as regional and grassroots organizations.

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