• Our Partners:

About Us

Our Story:

First Nations leadership has long prioritized the health and wellness of their peoples and communities. In 2007, BC First Nations established the FNHC to implement the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan. The FNHC was formed with representation from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit and BC Assembly of First Nations and through the plan the parties committed to develop a new structure for BC First Nations health governance by 2010 – this structure would hold responsibility for regional health planning and administration as well as health design, delivery and accountability to reflect the service delivery needs of First Nations.  This structure was to be comprised of a number of essential elements including:

  • A First Nations Health Governing Body
  • A First Nations Health Council
  • A Provincial Advisory Committee

Our Mandate:

  • The FNHC is a provincial-level political and advocacy organization that is representative and accountable to BC First Nations, with the following mandate:
    • Dedicated political leadership for the implementation of Health Plans.
    • Support to First Nations in achieving their health priorities and objectives.
    • Health Advocacy and Relationships.
    • Politically oversee the transition of FNIH to the new First Nations Health Authority.
    • Promote and ensure communications, transparency, cost effectiveness and accountability of the FNHC to First Nations.

BC First Nations have adopted a First Nations health governance structure with four key First Nations components: First Nations Health Council (governance and political oversight); First Nations Health Authority (service and operations); First Nations Health Directors Association (technical advice and professional development for First Nations health directors); and, Regional Caucuses (provide direction, guidance, feedback).  These entities work collaboratively and in partnership to implement the political and legal agreements.

Our Shared Vision and Values:

The FNHC shares the vision and values of the FNHA and FNHDA as partners in the First Nations health governance structure

Our Vision:

Healthy, Self-Determining and Vibrant BC First Nations Children, Families and Communities.

Our Values:

Seven Directives:

Our Values


We believe that maintaining respectful relationships is fundamental to the achievement of our shared vision. Respectful relationships are built upon the recognition that we all have something to contribute as individuals, and participants in the First Nations health governance structure. Therefore, we commit to treating each other with dignity and generosity, being responsive to one another, and acknowledging that each entity has their own respective processes and practices. We are also committed to respectful interactions with First Nations, tripartite partners, and other collaborators.​​


We have the historic opportunity to achieve transformative change in First Nations health and wellness, and an obligation to make the most of this opportunity. This will require discipline amongst us, including through: loyalty to one another and our shared vision; upholding and supporting our roles, responsibilities, decisions, and processes; maintaining and nurturing unity and a united front; integrity and reliability in fulfilling our commitments, and accountability to one another for these commitments and contributions; and, solutions-oriented and active participation.


We believe that effective working relationships with First Nations, tripartite partners, and with one another are the foundation for achieving our vision and implementing our health plans and agreements. We commit to fostering effective working relationships and camaraderie underpinned by: trust; honesty; understanding; teamwork; and mutual support. We also acknowledge that humour and laughter are both good medicine, and a good way to build relationships.


We are here because of those that came before us, and to work on behalf of First Nations. We draw upon the diverse and unique cultures, ceremonies, customs, and teachings of First Nations for strength, wisdom, and guidance. We uphold traditional and holistic approaches to health and self-care and strive to achieve a balance in our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical wellness.


We are humbled and honoured to have been asked by First Nations to work on their behalf to improve health and wellness, and have a moral and personal responsibility to strive for excellence. Excellence means that our outcomes are sustainable, that our processes are professional and transparent, and that we commit to learn continuously – through capacity development opportunities, from each other and from new, different and innovative models worldwide.


We work to improve the health and wellness of all First Nations in BC. Our decision making reflects the best interests of all First Nations, and leads to just and equitable treatment amongst all First Nations communities, First Nations organizations, and across all regions of British Columbia. We are committed to make room for everyone, and are inclusive in our communications, information-sharing, and discussions

Our Priorities:

  • Social Determinants of Health: Developing Collaborative Strategies
    • Since Gathering Wisdom, there have been several information meetings with a group of provincial Deputy Ministers to start an early discussion on the social determinants of health. It was noted that these discussions have been constructive, informative and largely focused on relationship building to provide a foundation for further discussion and collaboration. In January 2014, the FNHC created an action item expanding the scope of discussions/relationships building to the private sector: The Social Determinants Working Group to discuss and develop strategies for advocacy related to resource development.
  • Health Literacy: Embodying and Promoting Personal Health and Wellness
    • Transition and transformation present opportunity to improve the health literacy of BC First Nations, however it requires reframing the mind set of citizens as improved system and expectations are put in place. Personal responsibility is the first step in wellbeing; therefore the FNHC will support the FNHA in the promotion of new health and wellness approach.  Some of the activities towards this goal include:
      • By consensus, the FNHC supports the proposal of a steps-based challenge for the next province-wide wellness challenge.
      • FNHC will consider hosting a cultural camp that includes FNHC, FNHA and FNHDA  representatives.
      • FNHC will consider adding resources or additional information in regards to alternative care and medicine.
      • FNHC will determine how sharing information during the Regional Caucuses on health living will serve to promote healthy leadership and building leadership capacity.
    • Uphold Governance Structures, Standards and Directives
      • FNHA-FNHA-FNHDA Relationship
        • One of the key roles of the FNHC is to uphold the governance structures and serve as the “keeper of governance processes.” The Collaboration Committee is one of the key mechanisms for maintaining the relationship between the parties. Increased communications and information sharing, as well as addition joint meetings will be key ways for relationships to continue to flourish. The Collaboration Committee is responsible for determining how the three organizations will work together.
        • The original action items found in the FNHC Resolution work plan have been completed, and now the focus of Regional Caucuses is shifting toward regional governance development and health systems transformation. The Collaboration Committee identified a few priorities for the upcoming Regional Caucuses:
          • Approval or endorsement of interim Regional Health and Wellness Plans
          • Presentations by the FNHC, FNHA and FNHDA,
          • Presentations of the Regional Summary Reports from the Building Blocks for Transformation
          • Review the Regional Terms of Reference Review
        • Dispute and Conflict Resolution
      • Engagement:
        • The wisdom and direction of our leadership has guided the historic milestones and agreements we have achieved. We as BC First Nations have created and carried out a community engagement and consensus-building process that is second to none – as described in the Engagement and Approvals .
        • Through this Pathway, the first Consensus Paper was adopted in May 2011, at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IV. By a historic level of consensus, Chiefs passed Resolution 2011-01 and thereby:
      • Endorsed the BC Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nations Health Governance – the legal agreement binding the Parties to transfer the operations of FNIHB-BC Region to a new First Nations Health Authority.
      • Adopted the Consensus Paper: BC First Nations Health Perspectives on a New Health Governance Arrangement – a document that established the 7 Directives which describes the fundamental standards and instructions for the new health governance arrangement.
      • Directed the FNHC and First Nations Health Society to conclude the Health Partnership Accord and sub‑agreements to the Framework Agreement, and establish the tripartite Implementation Committee and Implementation Plan.
      • Directed the FNHC and First Nations Health Society to undertake further development of the First Nations Heath Authority, through engaging with First Nations on models and options, and transitioning the First Nations Health Society to the interim First Nations Health Authority.
      • Directed the FNHC and First Nations Health Society to support the ongoing growth and development of work at the regional level, through supporting Regional Caucuses to develop Regional Tables.


  • The next year, the Engagement and Approval Pathway was again followed to report on the progress in implementing Resolution 2011-01 and to obtain further direction from BC First Nations. The second Consensus Paper being endorsed at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey in May 2012.  In adopting Resolution 2012-01 – again achieving a historic level of consensus – BC First Nations Chiefs:
  • Adopted the Consensus Paper 2012: Navigating the Currents of Change – Transitioning to a New First Nations Health Governance Structure.
  • Established a change management strategy consistent with two stages of work – Transition, and Transformation.
  • Adopted a holistic First Nations health governance model – meaning one that blends the best of available non‑profit, corporate, and legislative models – and provided direction for research, planning and implementation of the elements of that holistic model to begin.
  • Agreed to transition the interim First Nations Health Authority to the permanent First Nations Health Authority, established the Board of Directors structure for the First Nations Health Authority and the competencies of the members of that Board, and provided for an orientation and Elder advisory process for the Board.
  • Called for the establishment of Regional Offices to bring capacity, communications, collaboration, and planning closer to home, and the development of an annual Community Engagement Plan that will bring greater consistency and predictability to regional and provincial engagement opportunities.
  • Supported an evaluation of the First Nations health governance structure, to support ongoing learning and improvement
  • Through these key decisions, BC First Nations have established an ambitious agenda for transformative change. Although what we are doing has never been done before, the progress achieved has been remarkable.
    • The Engagement and Approvals Pathway is a key way we do business differently. The decisions and direction of the FNHC are informed by our First Nations leadership. When strategic-level decisions are required on province-wide governance standards, structures, processes or agreements, the FNHC will lead the Engagement and Approvals Pathway to ensure any decisions made at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey are informed and consensus-based.’

Reports and Plans

Health Governance Structure:

  • A New Health Governance Structure:
  • The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA): responsible for planning, management, service delivery and funding of health programs, previously​ provided by Health Canada’s First Nations Inuit Health Branch Pacific Region.
  • The First Nations Health Council (FNHC): provides political leadership for implementation of Tripartite commitments and supports health priorities for BC First Nations.
  • The First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA): composed of health directors and managers working in First Nations communities. Supports education, knowledge transfer, professional development and best practices for health directors and managers. Acts as a technical advisory body to the FNHC and the FNHA on research, policy, program planning and design, and the implementation of the Health Plans.
  • The Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health (TCFNH): the forum for coordinating and aligning programming and planning efforts between the FNHA, BC Regional and Provincial Health Authorities, the BC Ministry of Health, and Health Canada Partners.
  • Governance
  • Regional Governance Structures
  • Tripartite Partnership: The Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health is one of four governing structures outlined in the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan. Mandated through the Tripartite Health Plan and the Framework Agreement, the Tripartite Committee:
    • coordinates and aligns planning, programming, and service delivery between the FNHA, BC Health Authorities and the BC Ministry of Health, including the review of their respective FNHA MYHP and BC Regional Health Authorities’ Aboriginal Health Plans;
    • facilitates discussions and coordinates planning and programming among BC First Nations, British Columbia and Canada on all matters relating to First Nations health and wellness;
    • provides a forum for discussion on the progress and implementation of this Agreement and other health arrangements including the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan (2006), the First Nations Health Plan MOU (2006), the Tripartite First Nations
    • Health Plan (2007) and the Health Partnership Accord;
    • prepares and makes public an annual progress report for the Minister of Health (BC), the Minister of Health (Canada) and the FNHC on the progress of the integration and the improvement of health services for First Nations in British Columbia; and
    • undertakes such other functions as the Tripartite Committee members may from time to time agree, and which are consistent with the purposes and intent of this Agreement and its terms of reference.