OTTAWA, July 7, 2016 /CNW/ - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has welcomed new investments in healthcare supports for First Nations communities in Manitoba, announced by the federal Health Minister on July 5.
"First Nations have long stressed the urgent need for community-level support for our families. These new investments mark a response to that call," said AFN Regional Chief Hart. "It is important that the government understands that it is important to invest in health care as well as the social determinants of health – like housing, drinking water and education. I am hopeful that this new funding will help our children and our families to benefit from the proper professional healthcare that they deserve."
Northern Manitoba was the centre of a recent state of emergency brought about by a suicide epidemic earlier this year. The investments announced yesterday by the Minister of Health include $50 million over the next two years to upgrade health facilities in Manitoba First Nations – including mental wellness teams and a mental health crisis response team.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde stated that First Nations are calling for similar approaches on a national scale to close the gap in healthcare and wellness for all First Nations:
"I commend First Nations leaders and citizens in Manitoba for their work in realizing these important investments. We know, however, that Northern Manitoba's health crises are not isolated to this region. Numerous First Nations communities urgently need support for long-term health and wellness. The government must work with our leaders to ensure our treaty; inherent and human right to health is honoured and implemented."
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Jenn Jefferys, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 110, 613-222-9656 (cell), [email protected]; Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857 (cell), [email protected]