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FNHC Weekly Bulletin | Issue 6


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

To download a PDF of this issue click here.

Addressing Racism Investigation: Commissioner to join July 16 Town Hall

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond – commissioner for the Addressing Racism Investigation – will join the Thursday July 16 Provincial BC First Nations Chiefs and Leaders Town Hall. Mary-Ellen is the commissioner of the independent investigation into systemic Indigenous-specific racism in health care in BC established by the Minister of Health.

On the Thursday July 16 Town Hall (10:30 am to noon PST), Mary-Ellen will provide:

  • An overview of the investigation’s status and resources, as outlined here.
  • Details on how people can share their experiences via an online survey here or by calling 1-888-600-3078.

To join tomorrow’s call, use the Zoom link below or call toll-free at 1 (855) 703-8985.

Join Zoom Meeting

The FNHC, FNHA and FNHDA issued a statement supporting Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s investigation into systemic anti-Indigenous racism. The statement can be viewed here.

Summary: FNHC Meeting on Advocacy and Engagement Priorities

The FNHC met virtually on June 12 to discuss both immediate and long-term priorities. With the recent FNHA Services Resumption Planning Guide now available, along with related documents such as the Community COVID-19 Safety Planning Guide, the discussion was focused on resuming the priorities of the FNHC.

The Council continues to be mindful that there are many unknowns, including the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall; however, as we continue to transition to a ’new normal,’ we must plan and prepare.

Some of the discussion topics under review by the FNHC included:

  • Engagement options for the fall and beyond.
  • The FNHC evaluation.
  • Partnership work with BC and Canada.
  • Roles & Responsibilities during the ongoing pandemic.
  • A Social Determinants of Health Strategy.

More details will be shared over the coming weeks and months as they become available.

Illicit Drug-Related Deaths Increase among First Nations during COVID-19

The opioid crisis continues to disproportionately impact vulnerable BC First Nations people – and new data from FNHA shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has increased challenges for those struggling with addiction. Read the news release from FNHA here.

This new data calls upon us all to work together as communities and Nations to save lives and help the many people who are self-medicating and at a high risk of dying from illicit drug use. It can be challenging to access timely, culturally safe treatment and services for those experiencing addiction. Now, more than ever, our people need this support.

We know that improving mental health and wellness outcomes are best supported through Community-driven, Nation-based solutions that address the root causes of addiction. As part of this healing journey, properly resourced treatment centres and culturally safe harm reduction strategies will be critical moving forward. Making progress in these areas requires working in partnership.  

Both the Government of British Columbia and the First Nations Health Authority have contributed $20 million to build two new treatment centres and renovate others. These centres provide mental health and substance abuse services for First Nations peoples in BC.

This significant investment by the FNHA and the provincial government is an important step to improve accessibility to substance use services for BC First Nations. We look forward to Canada’s confirmation of its respective contribution to these efforts.

Joint FNHC-FNHDA Webinar on FNHA Service Resumption

On June 18, the FNHC, in partnership with the FNHA and FNHDA, hosted an all Chiefs, leaders and Health Directors joint webinar. The session featured senior leaders from the FNHA sharing an overview of the FNHA Services Resumption Guide. Highlights include:

The Health Council is working with FNHA to set up additional topic-specific sessions on service resumption, training and how to best keep the COVID-19 curve flat in BC. If you have suggestions for future webinars please email sharedsecretariat@fnha.ca.

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