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Archive for June, 2020

Allegations of Racism in BC’s Health-Care System

Date:

COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) – The First Nations Health Council acknowledges that the recent allegations of racism in the provincial health system are disturbing and difficult to hear. They remind us of the need for culturally safe and equitable health care.  

These allegations reveal there is much work to do to ensure that there is systemic change. Intentions need to translate to action by every person in the BC Health care system.

The First Nations Health Council appreciates Minister of Health Adrian Dix’s prompt response and appointment of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to investigate this matter. We encourage her investigation to be transparent and involve those directly impacted by the alleged racism. It should include the communities and Nations within the five health regions of BC. Trust is needed for individuals to tell their stories and support meaningful change. Should these allegations be confirmed through the investigation, then we would expect the government to take immediate action against all those involved.

The success of the BC First Nations Health Governance structure is based upon our core set of values, our guiding Seven Directives given to us by BC First Nations, and our Shared Vision Statement and collective goal of “Healthy, Self-Determining and Vibrant BC First Nations Children, Families and Communities.” 

The First Nations Health Council remains committed to eradicating racism within the health care system, as well as improving both services and First Nations health outcomes. These changes must also come from within the health system in the spirit of reciprocal accountability and in a manner that respects the provincial implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People; particularly, in terms of improving health outcomes. 

In 2015, all provincial health authority CEOs signed a Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services Delivery for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC. This declaration has now been endorsed by each of the professional health regulatory bodies in BC – a first in Canada – as well as other health partners.

The First Nations Health Council supports this important work, but recognizes that cultural safety is not enough – we need to go beyond the words to support transformational change in the health system, shift attitudes and meaningfully reconcile. We ask British Columbians to stand with BC First Nations on June 21, 2020 for National Indigenous Peoples Day, and commit to ending racism in this generation.

FNHA Launches Mobile App

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FNHA-Get-The-New-FNHA-App-Poster.jpg

A message from Richard Jock, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FNHA​

The FNHA strives to find the best ways possible to serve First Nations and Indigenous people in BC, and we are always exploring ways to better connect with those we serve. In response to feedback received from communities, we are excited to announce the launch of the new FNHA Mobile App.

The Mobile App creates the opportunity to receive direct information to support the health, wellness, and safety of BC First Nations. The current COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance and value of immediate access to urgent and evolving information, and the Mobile App serves as a simple platform for important updates and resources.

As always, FNHA will continue to be your trusted source of information, now with the added convenience of a Mobile App. ​It will provide a direct link to our services and information, and will help to keep you up to date on FNHA’s COVID-19 resources, as well as other holistic health information, support and tools.

Providing meaningful, useful online support to BC First Nations has been a priority for the FNHA, especially during these times, and we thank you for all you have done to help protect our communities, Elders, and history.

Beyond the pandemic, the Mobile App will be a helpful companion on your wellness journey. It will provide benefits with a focus on health and wellness, including physical and mental health. Depending on the settings you choose, the Mobile App can send emergency notifications and alerts about urgent, health related events.

FNHA is here for you when you need us, putting helpful information directly into your hands. I invite you to download the FNHA Mobile App today from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. View the Frequently Asked Questions to find out more, or visit fnha.ca/app.​

Links

Apple App Store

Google Play Store

FA​Qs

Poster

User Guide​

FNHC Weekly Bulletin | Issue 5

Date:

The FNHC’s bulletin is designed to provide BC First Nation Chiefs and leaders with a round-up of news and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic response. For the most current public health guidelines as well as information for individuals and communities, visit FNHA.ca/coronavirus.

To download a PDF of this issue click here.

FNHA Services Resumption Guide

The FNHA services resumption planning guide is intended to support inherent self-determination through informed decision-making, based on the unique needs of each community. It is intended to be a tool, vs. a rulebook, to support communities as they resume services across health and community services.

The guide was distributed to all Chiefs, Health Directors and FNHA regional teams and posted on the FNHC.ca site. The guide covers:

  • Strategic Guidance for Communities and Nations.
  • First Nations Community Recovery Supports.
  • Mental Health Recovery Plan & Resources.
  • Planning for Service Resumption.
  • Emergency Response Reorientation.
  • After-Action Reporting and Wrap-up.

The guide includes several appendices with tools like WorkSafeBC checklists and other resources. If communities need additional services they can reach out to FNHA for support at COVID19needs@fnha.ca.

The guide has been made available on the FNHA website.

FNHC Town Hall

On June 4, the FNHC hosted an all Chiefs and leaders Town Hall information session. The session featured senior leadership from the FNHA, Emergency Management British Columbia, BC Parks and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Highlights included:

  • Community Services COVID-19 supplies shipped out to regions.
  • FNHA Services Resumption Guide Overview.
  • FNHA finalizing placement of “gene expert” table-top devices in community.
  • BC Parks high-level overview of assessments for re-opening including: nature of facilities, Personal Protective Equipment supplies, nature of visitations (tourist vs. local) and staffing.

The Health Council is working with FNHA to set up topic-specific sessions on service resumption and how to best keep the BC COVID-19 curve flat. More details to come.

FNHC Anti-Racism Statement

The FNHC, in partnership with the FNHA, and the FNHDA released a statement of solidarity.

Urban Membership Supports During COVID-19

The health council has heard community leadership’s requests for more resources in support of urban and off-reserve members. The FNHC continues to advocate for sufficient away from home resources from our partners. 

With the recent funding announcement by ISC of an additional $75 million to support off reserve applicants to support COVID-19 recovery, we expect to see some relief of these pressures. Urban members might consider contacting their local Friendship Centre, which have received one third of the national urban and off-reserve funding allocations to date.

Counselling Supports for Chiefs and Leaders

The Kackaamin Family Development Centre and
Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Treatment Centre (TTLL) are offering direct counselling and cultural support. Call toll-free
1-888-403-3123 for an initial consultation.

Hours for initial consultation/session are:

Monday to Friday……………………………. 8am – 8pm

Saturday and Sunday…………………….. 10am – 2pm

FNHC MMIWG Statement

The Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs recently announced a delay in their delivery of a National Action Plan to be delivered in response to the MMIWG Inquiry calls to action. The women of the FNHC delivered testimony to the inquiry and will be releasing a statement speaking to the unacceptability of the delay and reiterating the FNHC’s testimony provided to the Inquiry.

Question of the Week

Will my community be able to access resources to reimburse costs incurred due to the pandemic?

The First Nations Health Authority has mentioned that reimbursement for First Nations community expenses incurred during the pandemic is forthcoming. This is contingent on the regional disbursement of the recent funding announcement from ISC. More details will be shared as they become available. If there are immediate needs we would direct community leadership to the FNHA email for all needs during the pandemic: COVID19needs@fnha.ca.

Reminder: guidelines available for community specimen collection

The FNHA Nursing Office issued guidelines and considerations for health professionals on COVID-19 testing and specimen collection. Guidelines are posted on FNHC.ca for health professionals here.

Please send comments or questions about this FNHC Bulletin to: sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca

FNHC Weekly Bulletin | Issue 4

Date:

This is the fourth issue of the FNHC’s weekly bulletin, designed to provide BC First Nation Chiefs and leaders with a round-up of news and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic response. For the most current public health guidelines as well as information for individuals and communities, visit FNHA.ca/coronavirus.

To download a PDF of this issue click here.

House of Commons Committee: Indigenous & Northern Affairs

On Friday, May 22, FNHC Chair Charlene Belleau along with Senior Leaders from operational partner First Nations Health Authority, provided witness testimony to the committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, which was reviewing the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs reviews, examines and reports on issues affecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and northerners.

Committees examine, in small groups, selected matters in greater depth than is possible in the House of Commons. They report conclusions of those examinations as well as recommendations to the House. Committees undertake studies on departmental spending, legislation and issues related to their mandate.

Discussion topics on May 22 included

  • Personal Protective Equipment shortages;
  • Security Checkpoints;
  • Community challenges with RCMP and policing;
  • Food Security; and
  • On/off reserve resources and connectivity issues.

A video link to the testimony can be found below: https://tinyurl.com/ycpxx5tp

Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health (TCFNH)

The TCFNH was established in 2011 as part of the B.C. Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance. It is the forum for coordinating and aligning programming and planning efforts between the FNHA, BC Regional Health Authorities, and federal and provincial partners.

The TCFNH met recently via a virtual teleconference to discuss the COVID-19 response. In addition, during the discussion on mental health and wellness, FNHC Chair Charlene Belleau highlighted the need to:

  • Invest in community capacity and support for Nation-based governance models;
  • Measure our success by community standards; and
  • Invest in family violence programs, treatment centres, and culturally safe practices that address mental health and the social determinants of health.

FNHC “Town Hall” June 4

The next Town Hall information teleconference is on Thursday, June 4 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM. Participant details have been distributed to all Chiefs and leaders across the province.

Mental Wellness during COVID-19

The Health Council has heard from community leadership the varying degrees in which the pandemic has affected the mental health and wellness of communities.

We know the pandemic has affected our youth, our elders and families in different ways. We wish to pass along collated information provided by our operational partner the First Nations Health Authority on access to Mental Health and Cultural supports: https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-COVID-19-Mental-Health-and-Cultural-Supports.pdf

Counselling Supports for Chiefs and Leaders

The Kackaamin Family Development Centre and
Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Treatment Centre (TTLL) are offering direct counseling and cultural support. Call toll-free
1-888-403-3123 for an initial consultation.

Hours for initial consultation/session are:

Monday to Friday……………………………. 8am – 8pm

Saturday and Sunday……………………. 10am – 2pm

Upcoming FNHC Meeting

The FNHC will meet virtually on June 12 to discuss next steps for the Council’s advocacy agenda and its community engagement activities in the midst of phased service resumption amidst COVID-19

We encourage Chiefs and Leaders to raise COVID-19 and/or health governance related issues to the attention of your regional FNHC representative. We remain a source of information and support during this crisis.

Question of the Week

Where can I find information on service and business resumption for my community?

The FNHA Service Resumption Guide was made available June 1 and has been posted online here. The Guide includes information about re-opening communities and resuming operations as we enter Phase Two of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guide was prepared as part of FNHA’s response to the BC Restart Plan with guidance from WorkSafe BC (which has overall responsibility for this issue in BC). There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each community will use the Guide differently based on their own needs and circumstances.

ISC Funding Announcement

On May 29, the Prime Minister announced additional funding for health, economic and social support for Indigenous peoples and communities. A link to the funding announcement can be found below: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/29/prime-minister-announces-additional-funding-health-economic-and

Please send comments or questions about this FNHC Bulletin to: sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca