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Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey 2018 – SAVE THE DATE INVITATION

Date:

Dear BC First Nations Chiefs and Leaders,

The First Nations Health Council (FNHC) is pleased to invite Chiefs and Leaders to Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX, taking place May 15-17, 2018 at the Westin Bayshore on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver.

This unique forum is the largest First Nations health and wellness forum in BC and the only one of its kind in Canada.  Since its inception, the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey forums have set the stage for BC First Nations to design a more accessible and culturally appropriate system of health care in BC.

As we continue our collective journey in health transformation, this year’s Gathering Wisdom forum will provide an opportunity for Chiefs, Leaders, Health Leads and Social Leads to set direction on a long-term approach for addressing the social determinants of First Nations health in BC.

This Gathering Wisdom forum will feature discussions on health and the social determinants of health. It is an opportunity for First Nations to engage in direct dialogue with each other and federal, provincial and health system partners on factors that influence the health and wellness of their children, families and communities.

A key feature of the Gathering Wisdom forum this year will be a leadership discussion on a ten-year social determinants of health strategy. Throughout the past year, the FNHC has engaged First Nations leaders, health leads and social leads at Sub-Regional Caucuses, Nation Assemblies and Regional Caucuses to develop a direction for the social determinants of health work. Informed by ongoing discussions, Chiefs will be asked to make a decision on the direction of this work.

WHO’S INVITED

The First Nations Health Council is pleased to invite three (3) representatives from each BC First Nations community:

  • One Political Lead (eg. Chief or Proxy Designate with Chief’s Approval)
  • One Health Lead (eg. Health Director, Community Health Representative or Health Portfolio Holder)
  • One Social Lead with expertise in health and/or social services (eg. Social Development Worker, Social Program Director, Children and Family Worker)

 

Important note: It is up to each community to choose how they want to participate in the Gathering Wisdom forum this year within the three affiliations described above. Due to the nature and focus for this year, the participation of political representatives from each community is encouraged by the FNHC.

 

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

FNHC will reimburse travel and accommodation expenses for the above-mentioned three representatives from each BC First Nations community.

Attendees are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation to/from the forum.

TO REGISTER

Registration will be opened mid-January 2018.

We kindly ask that delegates register before the deadline on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 5:00pm to confirm your seat!

Please note: pre-registration is mandatory to attend the forum. After this date, attendance cannot be guaranteed due to space constraints, and accommodation may not be available at the forum’s hotel venue.

For more information: email GatheringWisdom@pacegroup.com

Download this information in PDF format here (57 KB)

Commitment Stick Grant Renewal to Support First Nations Healing

Date:

​​The work is not done yet. Commitment Stick grant renewal to support First Nations healing

Community-driven initiatives support ending violence against Indigenous women and girls ​​

FNHA-Commitment-Stick-Guide-Cover.jpg

Recent events in BC draw attention to the ongoing need for community-driven support and safety for women and girls. To promote resilience and healing, all five First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) regions are re-opening applications for $1,000 Commitment Stick grants to hold events or ceremonies to end violence against Indigenous women and girls.

“Do not be silenced. News and media reports of recent events, including the identification of human remains of Traci Genereaux and charges for the murder of Pamela Napoleon remind us that we must be diligent and committed to stop violence against women every day,” says Chief Charlene Belleau of Esk’etemc First Nation. “Keep our Commitment Sticks staked solid to the ground every day, empower our Indigenous women and girls to be strong and powerful women within our nations. The future of our Nations is at stake with every murdered and missing Indigenous woman or girl.”

The Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake) Commitment Stick initiative was launched November 2016 to end all forms of violence against women and girls, and is premised on the idea that First Nations must be involved in their own healing. FNHA will provide $1,000 event grants to support any First Nation prepared to tackle this issue at home. These grants are open to communities who may already have hosted events.

“Our people coming together, we are gathering in our territories to tell truths,” says Joe Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, FNHA. “We know this work is not finished and there is much we need to do to support Indigenous women and girls, be strong allies, and stop violence and unsafe behaviours in their tracks.”

The idea of the Commitment Sticks started with Esk’etemc Elder Fred Johnson Sr., with the support of Chief Charlene Belleau. Esk’etemc Commitment Sticks are symbols of a personal commitment to live violence-free and to actively stop violence against Indigenous women and girls.

“Four generations of my family have experienced violence, sexual assaults and abuse at the hands of men and women. Creating safety for children, women and vulnerable adults starts in our own backyards,” says Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair of the FNHC. “I implore the men and women in positions of power to do something. Great grandparents, grandparents, aunties and uncles must keep an eye on their children and vulnerable adults to keep their family members safe.”

At Gathering Wisdom in May 2015, over 120 Chiefs and leaders took up the Esk’etemc Commitment Sticks and pledged to work together to end violence against Indigenous women and girls in First Nations communities. This commitment was renewed by community leaders in a ceremony held last year at Gathering Wisdom VIII.

Application deadlines are:

North – December 15, 2017

Vancouver Island – December 1, 2017

Interior – December 1, 2017

Fraser Salish – December 1, 2017

Vancouver Coastal – December 1, 2017

Learn more about the Commitment Sticks and apply for your community grant here: http://www.fnha.ca/wellness/commitment-stick

Background

Holding a community Commitment Stick event

Projects must support ending violence against Indigenous women and girls and can include but are not limited to community events, ceremonies, meetings and activities, such as:

​> Healing circles or ceremonies,

> Women’s gatherings or feasts,
> Support groups for survivors and families,
> Educational programs,
> ​Initiatives for men and other allies,

> Search parties,
> Community art projects.

Grant funding can cover Commitment Stick event costs including but not limited to: catering, advertising, transportation, honoraria, speakers and facilitators, search expenses, etc.

Supporting Indigenous women starts at home. How to be a good ally to the women and girls in your life:

Believe them. This is the most important first step. Ongoing harassment, assault and abuse are real. Let’s not argue with this fact.

Amplify their voices. Women’s perspectives aren’t always heard, and this can be an opportunity to listen. Don’t support conversations that question women’s honesty or integrity. Allow women to speak and help create space for that if needed.

Stand up for them. You have the power to stop unsafe behaviour while it’s happening. Don’t allow your male friends, colleagues or family members to make derogatory or sexualized remarks about women or girls in your presence. If you are uncomfortable causing conflict in a group, have the conversation with the person who made the comment later, in private.

Support them. There is help out there.

• Connect your friend or loved one with the KUU-US Crisis Line, which provides culturally safe support services 24 hours a day at 1-800-588-8717.

• FNHA also offers short-term crisis counselling services through our Health Benefits program. On-reserve clients can contact their band office for mental wellness services. Clients living off-reserve can contact Health Benefits at 1-800-317-7878 for crisis intervention benefits.

•​ Residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors can also access free professional counselling by calling 1-877-477-0775.

Application Forms

right-click and save as​

North​ern

​​Interior

Fraser Salish

Vancouver Coastal

Vancouver Island


Download this statement in PDF format here (PDF 132 KB)

Fall 2017 Regional Caucus

Date:

The Fall 2017 Regional Caucus Sessions will begin next week. The upcoming Fall Caucuses are important forums for Leadership, Health Leads and Social Leads to contribute to discussions on social determinants of health and connect with federal/provincial partners. This is a unique opportunity to affect how programs and services are delivered to BC First Nations.

The regional caucuses will invite federal departments and provincial ministries to engage directly with First Nations on key issues that impact health, including:

  • Children and family reform (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Ministry of Children & Family Development)
  • Mental health and addictions (Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions)
  • Early years services on-reserve (Employment and Social Development Canada and MCFD)
  • Emergency management (Emergency Management BC, INAC, FNHA)

A concept paper on the social determinants of health will also be discussed at the 2017 Fall Caucuses.

This round of Caucuses is an opportunity for First Nations leaders to build on the work of previous events to chat a path forward for better health and wellness for their communities. We look forward to seeing you there!

Registration is still open for the below dates:

North – October 24-26 – Register here.

Interior – November 7-9 – Register here.

Fraser Salish – November 21-23 – Register here.

Vancouver Coastal – November 28-30 – Register here.

Vancouver Island –December 5-7 – Register here.

FNHC Discussion Paper: Ten-Year Social Determinants of Health Strategy

This discussion paper has been prepared by the FNHC to support discussions on the vision for a ten-year strategy to address the social determinants of health. This discussion paper is a summary of what has been heard in the past year and presents proposals for long-term change. As we look toward the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey forum in May 2018, we want to spark discussion with Chiefs, Leaders and Health Leads on the future state of First Nation health and social governance in BC.

Read the discussion paper here.

Memorandum of Understanding Between Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council and FNHC

On Monday, September 25, 2017, the FNHC and the 14 Chiefs of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council (NTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the NTC Annual General Meeting in Port Alberni, BC.

As per this mandate, the MoU sets out how the NTC and FNHC will work together in a good way (“isaakmis”) to advance their partnership and shared interest in health and wellness, health system transformation, and addressing social determinants. This MoU will help the FNHC to better support Nuu-chah-nulth to achieve its vision of change.

The MOU was signed in sacred ceremony and committed the NTC and the FNHC to develop, nurture and evolve a partnership that is enduring, productive and healthy.

Read more on this event here.

First Nations Health Council and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council sign MoU

Date:

On Monday, September 25, 2017, the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) and the 14 Chiefs of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council (NTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the NTC Annual General Meeting in Port Alberni, BC.

With this MoU, the FNHC  agrees to advocate for and support the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council to make progress on the NTC’s mandate; to seek funding for NTC and its member Nations; to improve program and service delivery; and to make progress on the social determinants of health, which are understood within the Nuu-chah-nulth concept of “hish-uk-ish-tsawalk”—everything is connected. This aligns with the FNHC’s long-term goal to support Nations to achieve their own vision of health and wellness, including those seeking Nation-to-Nation partnership models with BC and Canada.

The signing of this agreement supports one of the FNHC’s key directives: to foster meaningful collaboration and partnerships to achieve progress on the social determinants of health. In 2011, the FNHC was established by BC First Nations leadership as the political advocacy branch of the new health governance system. Resolution 2011-01, endorsed by Chiefs, mandates the FNHC to build relationships with other First Nations organizations, provincial and federal governments to progress work related to the social determinants of health.

As per this mandate, the MoU sets out how the NTC and FNHC will work together in a good way (“isaakmis”) to advance their partnership and shared interest in health and wellness, health system transformation, and addressing social determinants. This MoU will help the FNHC to better support Nuu-chah-nulth to achieve its vision of change.

In entering into this agreement, the FNHC recognizes and respects the autonomy of Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations over their health-related structures and decision-making processes for the health, unity and self-determination of their people. In this way, the agreement supports a process that is truly Community-Driven and Nation-Based. This means that the process will be driven by the needs and priorities of NTC member Nations first and foremost.

This is a momentous milestone that recommits both parties to collaboration and sets the standard for how the FNHC works with and supports Nations as they pursue their own path of self-determination in health and beyond. It solidifies our common interest in advocating for First Nations health and wellness, supporting health system transformation and addressing the social determinants of health.

The MoU was signed in sacred ceremony and committed the NTC and the FNHC to develop, nurture and evolve a partnership that is enduring, productive and healthy.

Summer 2017 Update

Date:

The FNHC Mandate

In May 2011, BC First Nations provided the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) an ambitious mandate. In addition to providing dedicated political leadership for the implementation of the health plans and agreements, and supporting health systems transformation, leaders called upon the FNHC to build partnerships to make progress on the social determinants of health.

At that time, the FNHC mandate was captured in the Consensus Paper 2011: British Columbia Perspectives on a New Health Governance Arrangement – approved and adopted by BC First Nations Chiefs at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey in May 2011.

In working to fulfil these commitments the FNHC has been building new partnerships with Canada and BC and engaging First Nations on ways to improve the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities.

During these discussions and deliberations, the FNHC has been challenged on whether we are reaching beyond the third pillar of our mandate. As a result the FNHC requested a legal opinion to clarify whether it is acting appropriately in pursuing agreements with BC and Canada to create a platform for collaboration with First Nations on broader issues that influence health and wellbeing.

The legal opinion has determined that the FNHC is acting within the mandate set out by BC First Nations in the Consensus Papers. It can be viewed on our website here.


Progress Report on Regional Caucuses

The Regional Caucus sessions are well underway with the Vancouver Coastal, Interior and Fraser Salish sessions now completed. At each session, Chiefs, Leaders, and Health Leads have engaged senior decision-makers from the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) on a wide range of topics, including children and family wellbeing, early learning and childcare, and poverty.

A highlight for many participants has been a presentation delivered by Terry Cross – the founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association in the United States. At each session, Terry led a discussion on decolonizing First Nations child welfare and the linkage between the social determinants of health and the ability to improve outcomes for children, youth and families.

 

Feedback from Regional Caucuses:

“I loved Terry Cross! I learned a lot from him – his wisdom and his wonderful energy. The discussion was very focused and we covered a lot of ground – at the same time the social determinants links to Health & Wellness outcomes was and is obvious. Holistic models = transformation!”

“[The session can be improved by] a form sent to bands in advance – For our Health director/Manager to fill in if they are unable to attend. So we can include their comments.”

“Discussion and dialogue with INAC reps was very informative and opportunity to voice concerns and ideas.”

“The information & discussions that took place gave lots of different insight into the issues & how we can work to change them.”

“Terry Cross presentation was inspiring. It puts the community in a position to solve its own problems and issues.”

“I would love to be invited/included in the future.”

 

Common Themes and Considerations:

The discussions at each session have highlighted common themes and considerations for improving health and social services, including:

  • Nations need flexible, needs-based funding
  • Funding must flow directly to communities for prevention programming
  • Nation-to-Nation relationship is key to federal reforms
  • New resources are required to support health and wellness planning at the Nation level
  • Break down siloes to support a more coordinated and integrated approach to health and social service planning and delivery
  • Focus on outcomes – less on rules and reporting when it comes to community funding
  • Relationships with Canada and BC must be based on reciprocal accountability – all accountable for outcomes
  • Poverty will be eliminated when First Nations have full access and control over their lands, waters and resources

Next Steps:

At the end of the spring Regional Caucuses, the FNHC will revise the Regional Summary Reports shared with First Nations in November of last year. These Regional Summary Reports will build upon the body of knowledge developed throughout this process and will be tabled for review during the Regional Caucuses in the fall of this year.

The Regional Caucuses are part of an ongoing process of engagement with First Nations with respect to the social determinants of health. The FNHC is guided in its engagement work by the engagement and approvals pathway as outlined in the Consensus Paper 2012: Navigating the Currents of Change: Transitioning to a New First Nations Health Governance Structure.

The engagement and approvals pathway is the process by which input is shared and consensus is built for key decisions within the health governance structure. Through dialogue at Sub-Regional Caucuses and Regional Caucuses, the FNHC aims to support a process of priority setting and consensus building.

BC First Nations are set to come together at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX in May 2018. At this Gathering Wisdom forum, BC First Nations will be asked to make a decision on a long-term strategy aimed at addressing the social determinants of health. There is a full year to work together through Sub-Regional Caucuses and Regional Caucuses to build a blueprint that sets priorities for investment, partnership and policy change.


Read the Social Determinants of Health Discussion Guide

This discussion guide was prepared by the FNHC to support discussions on the social determinants of health at Sub-Regional and Regional Caucuses. This is a tool to show the link between specific sectors and health outcomes. This discussion guide includes specific information on children and family wellbeing, early childhood experiences and poverty to reflect the three main themes of the Regional Caucus.

This is a key tool to talk about the social determinants of health and to learn more about the work of the FNHC.

Find the Discussion Guide on the FNHC website through this link. 

Spring 2017 Regional Caucus

Date:

The Spring 2017 Regional Caucus Sessions will begin next week. The FNHC is continuing the process of engagement and planning with First Nations on the social determinants of health. The upcoming Regional Caucus dates will focus on children and family wellbeing with an emphasis on early years.

We are very pleased to announce that Terry Cross, founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, will be in attendance at each session. His presentation was a highlight for many at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII and can be found below. Mr. Cross will be leading a workshop on Indigenous systems of care.

The regional caucuses will invite federal departments to engage directly with First Nations on key issues that impact health, including:

  • Reforming the First Nation Children and Family Services Program (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada)
  • Developing an Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework (Employment and Social Development Canada)
  • Developing a National Poverty Reduction Strategy (Employment and Social Development Canada)

The round of Regional Caucus marks an exciting opportunity for First Nations leaders to plan and articulate their priorities from a Community-Driven, Nation-Based perspective. We hope you will join us!

Registration is still open for the below Spring 2017 Regional Caucus dates:

May 9-11: Fraser Salish – Register Here.
May 16-18: Interior – Register Here.
May 24-26: Northern – Register Here.
May 30-June 1: Vancouver Coastal – Register Here.
June 13-15: Vancouver Island – Register Here.

FNHC Social Determinants of Health Discussion Guide

The FNHC Social Determinants of Health Discussion Guide was prepared by the First Nations Health Council to support discussions on the social determinants of health at Sub-Regional and Regional Caucuses.

This is a tool, used to show the link between specific challenges and health outcomes. It includes specific information on children and family wellbeing, early childhood experiences and poverty to reflect the three main themes of the Regional Caucus.

It also includes the opportunity for leadership to plan and identify areas for investments in capacity. This discussion guide is for informational purposes only and will not be used to collect information from communities.

Read the guide here (PDF 17 MB)

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII Summary Report

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII took place November 30 to December 2, 2016 on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver.

The FNHC would like to thank the Chiefs, Leaders, Elders, Health Directors, and Caregivers who attended. We thank you for taking time to contribute to this important conversation. Your wisdom and advice will guide us as we work together to achieve the shared vision of healthy, self-determining and vibrant First Nations children, families and communities.

Download the Summary Report here (PDF 12.5 MB)

Gathering Wisdom VIII Presentations

In advance of the coming regional caucus sessions, watch some notable presentations from Gathering Wisdom VIII.

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII Summary Report

Date:

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII took place November 30 to December 2, 2016 on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver.

We thank the Chiefs, Leaders, Elders, Health Directors, and Caregivers who attended Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII.

We thank-you for taking time to contribute to this important conversation. Your wisdom and advice will guide us as we work together to achieve the shared vision of healthy, self-determining and vibrant First Nations children, families and communities.

Download the Summary Report here (PDF 12.5 MB)

First Nations Health Council and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Ceremony Marks Agreement on Improving Lives of Children and Communities in B.C.

Date:

Coast Salish Territory – Vancouver, B.C. – The First Nations Health Council (FNHC) and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) have marked the signing of a recent agreement in ceremony on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a commitment to work together, through a process of community engagement, to improve the health and wellbeing of First Nations children, youth and families in B.C. The ceremonial event follows the initial signing that took place on February 14, 2017 in Ottawa and is an integral part of bringing the agreement to life.

This agreement intends to create space for communities to engage in direct dialogue with the FNHC and INAC on funding, policy and programs that will help to shape and improve the way services for children and families are designed and delivered in the future, including to reduce the disproportionate rate of Indigenous children being taken into care. With a vision of keeping children safe and families together, one of the goals of the engagement process is to see an increase in investments for community-based prevention services.

The parties acknowledge the diversity of perspectives, capacity and priorities of First Nations to reform the systems that serve their children, youth and families in B.C. The engagement process envisioned in this agreement will be inclusive, comprehensive and community-led, providing opportunities to build consensus on new priorities, models, and processes. This process will be community-driven and Nation-based, ensuring each Nation has the time and ability to contribute fully to this conversation.

Canada and First Nations in B.C. now have the opportunity to address historic funding shortfalls and build new relationships together, ones that are based on mutual accountability, increased flexibility and greater First Nations control. The MoU provides new opportunities for communities to lead in the design, planning, and dialogue around Indigenous child and family well-being in order to address the broader social determinants of health. The primary goal is to build healthy and sustainable communities that are adequately funded to deliver culturally appropriate and safe services for First Nations children, youth and families.

Importantly, this work is without prejudice to First Nations interests and does not limit, impede, or alter existing agreements or discussions between First Nations and the federal and provincial government. This is a starting point for dialogue between Canada and B.C. First Nations, opening the door for a conversation to take place on change. It is intended to strengthen linkages between agencies involved in health, education, justice, public safety, employment and training, social services and child welfare, while acknowledging the impacts of intergenerational trauma, poverty and mental wellness and substance use on health.

Grand Chief Doug Kelly First Nations Health Council Chair
“For too long, the government took decisions about us without us. This agreement creates the space for Chiefs and leaders to engage directly with government decision-makers to transform together child, youth, and family services. Transformative change is heavy work and it requires many hands – but we can do this!”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P. Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development
“Our priority as Canadians must be—first and foremost—the health, well-being and protection of Indigenous children. Reconciliation and its progress between Canada and Indigenous Peoples is crucial. We are proud to be working with the First Nations Health Council in British Columbia to take this step on the path forward to ensuring the program meets the needs of children, families and communities.”

The Honourable Stephanie Cadieux Minister of Children and Family Development
“This MoU is an important milestone that brings focus to our shared goal of helping to keep families together and ensuring that Indigenous children remain connected to their cultures, traditions and communities. This agreement reflects the direction in the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as a number of key reports and engagement processes informing positive change to Indigenous child welfare. I’m honoured to be a part of the changes we are all making — as full and equal partners — to improve the health and well-being of First Nations children, youth and families.”

To view the Memorandum of Understanding, please visit: http://fnhc.ca/2017/02/first-nations-health-council-and-indigenous-and-northern-affairs-sign-mou-on-root-causes/

Media Contacts:
First Nations Health Council 604-831-4898

Sabrina Williams – Press Secretary Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett 613-697-8316

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada 819-953-1160

First Nations Health Authority and First Nations Health Council Letter to Attendees of Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII

Date:

January 6, 2017
Greetings and Happy New Year,

Following up on recent dialogue at the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey Forum, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and First Nations Health Council (FNHC) offer a few points of clarification on items raised by forum delegates.

Because the focus of this year’s forum was the social determinants of health, the FNHA participated in Gathering Wisdom VIII as an invited guest of the FNHC. The intention was to discuss influencing change within the determinants of health of First Nations communities rather than FNHA service improvements.

The FNHC and FNHA respectively offer the following information in the spirit of open dialogue and continuous improvement, recognizing that we have much work to do together.

 

In health and wellness,

 

Grand Chief Doug Kelly,                                        Lydia Hwitsum,

Chair, First Nations Health Council                    Chair, First Nations Health Authority

 

 

  


First Nations Health Council

 

Misconception: Health Directors are being excluded from the health governance/transformation process by not being invited to Gathering Wisdom.

FNHC Clarification

We appreciated the active participation of over 100 Health Directors and Health Leads at this year’s Gathering Wisdom. The Gathering Wisdom forums have evolved over the years to reflect our health and wellness journey as BC First Nations.

The forum this year was different in a number of ways: 1) the forum was hosted by FNHC rather than FNHA; 2) the focus of the forum was broader than health and focused on the social determinants of health; 3). Finally, in accordance with Directive 6 the FNHC recognizes each First Nation organizes its staffing and technical supports according to its own needs and aspirations. As such, each Chief had the opportunity to invite one technical lead, such as a Health Director, to the forum.

Health Directors will continue to be active partners in the transformation of programs and services. Work that requires Health Directors, FNHA and provincial partner participation and engagement. An important upcoming opportunity is the Best of Both Worlds forum on March 1, 2017 – a conversation about quality improvements for provincial, FNHA-delivered, and FNHA-funded and Health Director-delivered programs and services.

 


Misconception:
First Nations Health Council and First Nations Health Authority are taking over Child and Family Services.

FNHC Clarification:

FNHC is facilitating conversations on the Social Determinants of Health with leadership using existing engagement pathways. The FNHC is not taking over administration of Child and Family services. The decision of how to organize in order to move forward on these items rests with First Nations leaders and in accordance with the Seven Directives.

Specifically, ​Directive #1: Community-Driven, Nation-Based; Directive #2: Increase First Nations Decision-Making and Control; Directive #4: Foster Meaningful Collaboration and Partnership; and Directive #6: Be Without Prejudice to First Nations Interests. As described on the floor at Gathering Wisdom, this is the beginning of the process using the engagement and approvals pathway that will span the next 24 months.


Misconception:
First Nations Health Council is abandoning its responsibilities in health by focusing on the social determinants.

FNHC Clarification:

First Nations Health Council has a mandate of health transformation. Social determinants of health are an important influencer of health outcomes for First Nations people. The FNHC is actively engaged with the FNHC/FNHDA/FNHA collaboration committee which guides the transformation of health services. The FNHC look forward to continuing engagement with regional caucuses to make progress on the social determinants of health agenda in 2017/2018.

 

Misconception: FNHA has cut First Nations Health Benefits funding.

FNHA Clarification:

No elements of the First Nations Health benefits program have seen a cut in funding. In fact, expenditures have increased as number of clients accessing the program continues to grow, including in the areas of patient travel meals and medical transportation.

There is still much work to be done. We encourage those with feedback about First Nations Health Benefits to fill out the Health Benefits Client Satisfaction Survey available through www.fnha.ca/benefits. For more information, please view the FNHA Annual Report Health Benefits section or the First Nations Health Benefits Annual Report: www.fnha.ca/about/governance-and-accountability/annual-reports.


Misconception:
FNHA has cut contribution agreement funding to First Nations communities.

FNHA Clarification:

Since novation in 2013, FNHA has supported year over year increases for all Set, Flexible and Block community contribution agreements of between 2.5-5.5%.  Increases for community contribution agreements in the BC region have outpaced all other regions in Canada.

 


Misconception:
FNHA has introduced generic drugs as a cost-cutting measure.

FNHA Clarification:

BC First Nations receive the same proportion of generic and brand names drugs as before transfer.

Brand name drugs are not better because they are more expensive; they are more expensive because of investments made in research, development and marketing (branding) – which increases pricing by 30 to 40 percent. Any cost savings realized by generic drugs provide the opportunity to reinvest in wellness programing for First Nations.

The FNHA prescription drug list is similar to the BC Pharmacare prescription drug list that is mandated for all citizens of BC. Most drug plans – including Pharmacare, Veterans and NIHB – switch coverage to the generic version of a drug once the patent on the brand name drug has expired. To ensure optimal client safety, a drug exception process is also available.

Both generic and brand name drugs contain the same active medicinal ingredients and are equally safe and effective. Both generic and brand name drugs are tested for quality, safety and effectiveness by Health Canada.

For more information on generic drugs and the FNHA, visit our website: www.fnha.ca and search: Generic Drugs.


Question:
What is the FNHA doing about the overdose crisis?

FNHA Response:

FNHA has been actively engaged in the provincial overdose task force, presenting at community town halls on overdose and engaging in community training to prevent opioid overdose.

Over 94 First Nations Health Centres are now registered to provide naloxone kits, at no cost to First Nations, with BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) ‘Toward the Heart’ program. Find a location here. More naloxone kit training sessions are planned.

FNHA is reaching out to communities with its new model: ‘Indigenizing Harm Reduction.’ The model uses a First Nations lens to facilitate dialogue on harm reduction practices and is provided by FNHA’s Indigenous Wellness team. The model was well received in five naloxone training sessions this fall, which reached more than a dozen First Nations communities. Due to high demand, more training sessions will be delivered. To have a presentation in your community please email Janine.Stevenson@fnha.ca.

The rate of overdose deaths continues to rise in BC. Tragically, over 760 people have died of overdose since January 2016. BC is presently averaging two overdose deaths per week.

Further information including videos, posters, information on the Take-Home Naloxone program and a list of treatment centres in BC is available here: www.fnha.ca/overdose.

Resources

‘Overdose can be Prevented’ poster: http://www.fnha.ca/newsContent/Documents/FNHA-Overdose-Awareness-Day-Poster-2016.pdf

Overdose Information and videos: http://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/mental-wellness-and-substance-use/overdose-information#treatment-centres

Naloxone available at no cost to First Nations in BC: http://www.fnha.ca/wellnessContent/Wellness/FNHA-Nalaxone-Info-for-Community.pdf

 

How can I help keep people safe?

  • Print the attached ‘Overdose can be Prevented’ poster and post it in your community.
  • Have conversations with vulnerable people. A great opportunity for this conversation is when people pick up their supplies.

Key messages for conversations to keep people safe: 

    • Be extra careful when using – use less than you normally would.
    • Know the signs of overdose.
    • Try not to use alone. If you do, have someone check on you and have a safety plan in place.
    • Watch out for each other.
    • Call 911 quickly when you notice something isn’t right.
    • Breathe for someone that is overdosing: provide one breath every five seconds.
    • Get a naloxone kit – they are free!
  • Ask vulnerable people to spread the word within their social networks as vulnerable people often do not have a connection to health services.

Download this letter in PDF format here (218 KB)

Summary and presentations from Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII

Date:

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII took place on November 30 to December 2, 2016 at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver, hosted by the FNHC. Delegates took part in a governance forum around the social determinants of health – the social, cultural, economic and environmental factors that contribute to healthy communities.

The theme of the forum this year was “Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future”. This theme reflects our traditions as strong, healthy and self-determining Nations. At the same time, it is an opportunity to reflect on our shared journey in health over the past ten years. It is an opportunity to draw upon our strengths as Nations and to chart the course for the next stage of our shared journey. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for First Nations leadership to inform and shape the strategic direction of provincial ministries responsible for education, post-secondary education, justice, public safety, and children and family services.

Below are the presentation slides in PDF format.

Presentation Slides

FNHA CEO, Joe Gallagher Presentation

Dr. Perry Kendall and Dr. Evan Adams Presentation

Government of British Columbia Justice and Public Safety Sector – Richard J.M. Fyfe, Deputy Attorney General & Mark Sieben, Deputy Solicitor General

Ministry of Education – Social Determinants of Health

Terry Cross, Keynote Speaker – Decolonizing First Nations Child Welfare

Implementing the Memorandum of Understanding: A Shared Agenda for Health and Wellness – Ministry of Health

Ministry of Children & Family Development – Regional Health Caucus Sessions Summary