COAST SALISH TERRITORY/WEST VANCOUVER, May 30, 2011 /CNW/ - On May 26,
2011, First Nations in British Columbia passed a historic resolution to
assume greater control and decision-making over their health and
146 of the 167 Chiefs and representatives in attendance (87%) voted in
favour of the resolution which will make BC First Nations the first in
Canada to take over health service delivery from the federal
government. The resolution also provides the First Nations Health
Council a strong mandate to work with the Province and the Health
"BC First Nations are true leaders," said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair
of the First Nations Health Council. "We are leading the way in
developing innovative practices and approaches not seen anywhere else
in the country. Through this new health governance approach, we will
see remarkable improvements in the health and well-being of First
Nations people in BC within one generation, and contribute to the
health services accessed by all British Columbians."
Warner Adam, Deputy Chair of the First Nations Health Council added, "We
will now proceed with confidence in the work First Nations have asked
us to do - support First Nations to engage with provincial Regional
Health Authorities, develop models for a First Nations Health
Authority, negotiate with federal and provincial governments, and most
importantly throughout this process maintain our process of engagement
with BC First Nations."
The resolution adopted by BC First Nations endorsed the signing of a Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance by First Nations, the Province of BC, and the Government of Canada.
This legally-binding Framework Agreement outlines the new health
governance structure for First Nations health services, the funding
commitments for the transfer of federal First Nations health programs
and services, and how First Nations and the provincial health system
will work together to better meet First Nations health priorities and
needs. The resolution also adopted a Consensus Paper that sets out a
historic level of agreement amongst First Nations in BC about their
health and well-being, and a series of next steps for the First Nations
Health Council to undertake.
"The stark and grim reality is that First Nations people are currently
not reflected in the health care system in this province and country,"
said Chief Doug White of the First Nations Summit Task Group. "With
this historic decision, we have achieved a remarkable level of unity as
First Nations in BC, and it is through this unity that we will achieve
the transformative change required to realize the healthy communities
our people deserve. This is a time of great change, a time of great
responsibility, and I honour the fact that we are taking these steps
together as one."
The First Nations Health Council was created in 2007 to provide
leadership in the implementation of the Tripartite First Nation Health
Plan. The 10-year Health Plan was created to improve the health and
wellbeing of First Nations, and to close the gaps in health outcomes
between First Nations and other British Columbians.
For more information about the Health Council please visit: www.fnhc.ca
SOURCE First Nations Health Council
For further information:
First Nations Health Council