Improving the Health of First Nations Peoples Through Strengthened Relationships

Cancer Care Ontario unites with the Anishinabek Nation to combat cancer

MUNSEE-DELAWARE FIRST NATION, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Representatives from Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) today signed a Relationship Protocol with the Anishinabek Nation at their Annual General Assembly held in Munsee-Delaware Nation.

This protocol is a key priority of CCO's Aboriginal Cancer Strategy II (ACS II), and is an agreement that sets a new course for a collaborative relationship between CCO and First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) communities. Over the coming months CCO will be signing a series of these agreements with FNMI groups.

In Ontario, cancer patterns differ significantly between First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations and the general Ontario population. Cancer incidence is increasing among First Peoples and their cancer survival rates are worse than for other Ontarians.  CCO recognizes the unique needs of FNMI peoples, and this protocol provides clarity and certainty about how CCO will work with their communities to implement the ACS II priorities.

"There is a clear need to address the rising burden of cancer among First Nations citizens and CCO is committed to implementing its cancer control strategy to support them," says Michael Sherar, President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario.  "To be successful we need strong community partnerships, and this protocol symbolizes our commitment to engaging First Nations leaders in the process."

Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee said the Anishinabek Nation's political secretariat - the Union of Ontario Indians - has a primary mandate to protect the interests of its 60,000 citizens.

"Whether it's advancing political positions or ensuring that the Anishinabek have all the information they need to lead healthy, productive lives, we are committed to working with any partners who share our goals."

Alethea Kewayosh, Director for the Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit at Cancer Care Ontario, was on hand for the protocol signing.

"We know that First Nations peoples, including the Anishinabek, have unique healthcare needs and by signing the protocol, we are agreeing to work together to tackle this challenging issue."

Neil Johnson, Regional vice-president of the South West Regional Cancer Program says, "The ACS II was developed to reduce new cancer cases and improve the quality of life for those living with cancer amongst First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. The six strategic priorities of the ACS II are: building productive relationships, research and surveillance, prevention, screening, supportive care and education.

The Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) is a political advocate for the 39 member communities of the Anishinabek Nation across Ontario, from Pikwakanagan (near Renfrew) in the east, Aamjiwnaang (near Sarnia) in the south, and Fort William (Thunder Bay) and Lake Nipigon in the north.  Anishinabek Nation citizens account for more than one-third of the First Nations population in Ontario. The UOI delivers a variety of programs and services, such as health, social services, education, intergovernmental affairs and treaty research.

Cancer Care Ontario - an Ontario government agency - drives quality and continuous improvement in disease prevention and screening, the delivery of care and the patient experience, for cancer, chronic kidney disease and access to care for key health services. Known for its innovation and results-driven approaches, CCO leads multi-year system planning, contracts for services with hospitals and providers, develops and deploys information systems, establishes guidelines and standards and tracks performance targets to ensure system-wide improvements in cancer, chronic kidney disease and access to care.

SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation

For further information:

Media contacts:
Cancer Care Ontario
Tori Gass, Senior Public Relations Advisor
Phone: 1-855-460-2646

Anishinabek Nation
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone : 1-877-702-5200  Cell :  1-705-494-0735
Email :

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Anishinabek Nation

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Union of Ontario Indians

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