First Nations in BC share a vision of healthy, self-determining and vibrant First Nation children, families and communities. We as BC First Nations have set a goal of eliminating health inequalities. In addition to improving health services, we want to work collaboratively to address the social and environmental factors that contribute to poorer health outcomes for our people. Through Regional Caucuses and Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey, First Nations Chiefs in BC have directed the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) to build partnerships and make progress on the social determinants of health.
Building on the work in health, the FNHC is beginning a dialogue with BC First Nations on ways to increase First Nations decision-making roles and capacity as it relates to health and social services. The FNHC is using the Engagement and Approvals Pathway to build consensus on a ten-year strategy for supporting First Nations children, families and communities in BC.
This fall, First Nations leaders in BC will contribute to a rich dialogue on the social determinants of health. For the first time, the Regional Caucuses will be attended by the Deputy Ministers responsible for child and family services, education, post-secondary education, justice and public safety. These Ministries have agreed to attend the Regional Caucuses to listen to and learn from First Nations leaders. The Ministries are seeking the direction of First Nations leaders as they shape their Ministry service plans and budgets for the year ahead. This is a significant opportunity for BC First Nations and the Government of BC to build stronger relationships and reach an understanding of what can be done differently.
At the end of the Regional Caucus sessions, we invite First Nations leaders to attend Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII in Vancouver on November 30th-December 2nd. At the Gathering Wisdom forum, the FNHC and the Government of BC will report back to First Nations leaders on what was heard during the Regional Caucuses. This will be a time for First Nations leaders to review the outcomes of the Regional Caucuses and discuss areas of common agreement amongst BC First Nations. This dialogue will inform the work we do as BC First Nations to build a ten-year strategy to address the social determinants of health.