Dec. 13, 2023: Sherry McKinstry, the co-founder of the Indigenous Dental Association of Canada says along with expanding coverage, the federal government needs to be improving access to dental care for those who live in remote communities to keep oral health gaps from widening. First Nations and Inuit populations in Canada had nearly twice as much dental disease and more unmet oral health needs compared to non-Indigenous people, according to a 2017 report from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
McKinstry said it doesn’t matter how much money is available for dental care if there is no one in your community offering services, or if you’re facing barriers such as racism in the health-care system. “In my opinion, we’re just not moving fast enough unfortunately and I would like to see that improve,” said McKinstry.
Nov. 3, 2023: Indigenous Services Canada announced that “together with Indigenous partners and the provinces and territories, we are co-developing new distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation to improve access to high-quality, culturally relevant health services”.
Jan. 25, 2023: Despite the commitments made by all levels of government in each of the Three National Dialogues on Indigenous Health convened after the death of Joyce Echaquan, the governments have refused to invite any of the leaders of the national Indigenous advocacy groups to participate in the national health funding meetings being held in Ottawa beginning Feb. 7. As usual, decisions will be made on their behalf without any consideration for their opinions or input on how those decisions will impact Indigenous people.
Health Summit: National Dialogue to end Systemic Racism (after the death of Joyce Echaquan)
Oct. 16, 2020: First National Dialogue
After the death of Joyce Echaquan at a hospital in Québec, the Government of Canada convened an urgent meeting with the following objectives:
- to listen to lived experiences of Indigenous people and health care professionals regarding systemic racism in federal, provincial and territorial health systems
- to reflect upon the information shared to inform concrete measures that governments, educational institutions, health professional associations, regulatory colleges, and accreditation organizations can take
- to commit to a second gathering in January 2021 where these proposed or implemented measures would be presented by governments and health care organizations
Jan. 27, 2021: Second National Dialogue
Focusing on engaging federal, provincial and territorial governments, health systems and Indigenous partners the objective of this meeting was to discuss concrete measures to eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in Canadian healthcare.
June 28, 2021: Third National Dialogue
Federal Government announced specific funding allocations of $126.7 million over three years, first announced in Budget 2021, to support efforts to address racism in Canada’s health systems.
Jan. 28, 2021: CTV – Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller announced the co-development of a distinctions-based health legislation aimed at giving First Nations, Métis 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 Métis leaders.