Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Resolution 16/04 Call for Declaration of Public Health Emergency.
NAN is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities within northern Ontario with the total population of membership (on and off reserve) around 45,000 people.
The Sioux Lookout Chiefs Committee on Health and the NAN Executive declared a Health and Public Health Emergency for First Nations across NAN territory. This Declaration was not made lightly. It was forced into existence by decades of perpetual crisis and persistent health care inequities at the NAN community level. The Declaration is an assertion of the inherent Treaty rights of NAN members to equal opportunities for health, including access to appropriate, timely, high-quality health care, regardless of where they live, what they have or who they are.
In order to exercise our self-determination over health we need to bring back accountability, responsibility and resource allocation to our communities. This involves changing the current colonial system to a new system that is based on the needs and priorities of our communities. This led to the execution of a trilateral commitment document: The Charter of Relationship Principles Governing Health System Transformation in NAN Territory (the Charter) which was mandated by NAN Resolution 17/21. The Charter was signed by the Parties (Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, Minister Jane Philpott and Minister Eric Hoskins) on July 24, 2017.
In order to support the NAN Health Transformation process, the governments agreed to several actions, including:
- Developing new approaches to improve the health and health access, including access at the community level.
- Supporting the ability of First Nations communities and organizations to deliver their own services.
- Proposing policy reform and exploring legislative changes to design a new health system for NAN territory, including sustainable funding models and decision-making structures.
- Removing barriers caused by jurisdiction, funding, policy, culture and structures so that First Nations can deliver better plan, design and manage their own services