X
  • Our Partners:

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Agenda for Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX

Date:

Agenda for Gathering Wisdom is Available Now!

The FNHC is pleased to share the draft agenda for the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey forum on May 15-17, 2018 in Vancouver. The purpose of the forum this year is to promote dialogue among First Nations in BC on strategies to address the broader determinants of health and wellness, including the role of health, resilience and healing in Nation rebuilding. The forum will be an opportunity to hear from other First Nations in BC that are redesigning their governance to support more wholistic approaches to health and wellness in their communities. Based on feedback from past forums, the FNHC has invited First Nations from across BC to share their stories of health and wellness.

The forum will feature a number of panel presentations, including:

Role of Health, Resilience and Healing in Nation Rebuilding

  • Herb George (Wet’suwet’en) and Sophie Pierre (Ktunaxa) will share lessons learned and possible strategies for supporting Nations on their journeys of healing and rebuilding.

Role of Leaders in Community Health and Wellness

  • Chief Dean Nelson (Líl̓wat), Chief Nathan Matthew (Simpcw) and Chief Jackie Thomas (Saik’uz) will share lessons learned and successes in supporting the health and wellness journeys of their communities.

Wholistic Approaches to Health and Wellness Planning

  • The Stikine Wholistic Working Group, the Wet’suwet’en Wellness Working Group, the Syilx and the Sts’ailes will share their stories of building wholistic health and wellness plans and programs that are grounded in the vision, values, culture and teachings of their Nations.

Presentation by Terry Cross

  • We are excited to welcome back Terry Cross (Founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association) to share his experiences supporting Tribes in the United States design effective services for Indigenous children and youth and new opportunities to work directly with First Nations in BC.

Tripartite Partnership on Mental Health and Wellness

  • As reported at the Regional Caucuses this spring, the FNHC is proposing a partnership with Canada and BC to improve mental health and substance use services in BC. This panel presentation will be an opportunity to hear from the Government of Canada, the Province of BC, the FNHC and the FNHA on proposals to transform mental health and wellness services in BC.

Presentation by Joe Gallagher

  • Joe Gallagher (Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations Health Authority) will talk about emerging priorities for the FNHA as a health and wellness partner to First Nations in BC.

It is important to note that there will be opportunities to talk to the FNHA throughout the forum. The FNHA will be hosting a series of information sessions to ensure communities can access information on key programs (e.g. Health Benefits). In addition, representatives from the FNHA will be available to meet with First Nations directly as requested.

Please see the link for the full agenda.

A reminder that the registration deadline for the Gathering Wisdom forum is this Friday (April 27, 2018). The FNHC is pleased to cover the costs of three (3) representatives from each First Nation community in BC to attend the Gathering Wisdom forum this year. If you have a role in health and wellness in your community, please visit www.gathering-wisdom.ca to register today!

Celebrating Culture and Wellness at Gathering Wisdom

The culture, language and identity of each Nation is an essential determinant of individual, family and community wellness. The Gathering Wisdom forum this year will feature cultural work and ceremony throughout the forum. This includes an honouring ceremony, cultural sharing, and wellness services. A reminder to bring your drums and regalia to participate in the cultural sharing on the first day of the forum.

In addition, the Gathering Wisdom forum will feature artisans from across BC, including jewelry, beadwork and buckskin work, prints and original paintings, cedar weaving, cedar carvings, and other arts and crafts.

How to Register

To register, please visit www.gathering-wisdom.ca and click ‘register’ to begin. Details on reserving a hotel room will be sent once registration is complete.

Based on feedback from past forums, the FNHC has simplified the registration process. The FNHC will cover the travel and accommodation costs for three (3) representatives from each First Nation community in BC to attend the Gathering Wisdom forum this year. This includes:

  1. One Political Lead (e.g. Chief, Councilor or Proxy)
  2. One Health Lead (e.g. Health Director, Community Health Representative or Health Portfolio Holder)
  3. One Social Lead (e.g. Band Administrator, Social Development Director or Social Development Worker)

As the discussion on the social determinants of health is broader than health services, we want to include representatives that have responsibility for health and social services in their community. 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.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, May 4, 2018.
Ensure to register by the deadline to guarantee your seat and hotel room. After this date, registration cannot be guaranteed.

QUESTIONS?
Please contact gatheringwisdom@pacegroup.com.

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey 2018 Youth Leaders Program

Date:

The FNHC is now accepting applications for First Nation leaders aged 16 to 30 years to participate in the inaugural Youth Leaders Program at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX, May 15-17, 2018. There are 10 spots available – one male and one female from each BC region. The 10 Youth Leaders selected will be asked to address an audience of 700 First Nation leaders and health leads from across BC.

As we have heard from many, the voice of youth is vitally important to the work we have in front of us. The Youth Leaders Program is an opportunity for aspiring First Nation leaders from across BC to attend the Gathering Wisdom forum, learn from the leaders around them, and take part in a provincial level dialogue on the health and wellbeing of First Nations in BC.

Who is a Youth Leader?

A youth leader is a positive role model and a health and wellness champion in their community. A youth leader is ready to represent the views of their peers and is willing to share their own perspectives on challenges they see in their communities. A youth leader is a champion for positive change and lives the values of respect, discipline, relationships, culture, excellence and fairness.

What will you do as a Youth Leader?

The 10 Youth Leaders selected will be asked to attend and actively participate in the 3-day Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey forum. On the first day of the forum, the 10 Youth Leaders will be introduced to the Chiefs in Assembly. On the final day of the forum, the 10 Youth Leaders will be asked to offer closing comments. Throughout the forum, Youth Leaders will convene as a group to share what they have learned, and prepare for their speaking opportunity on the last day. This is an opportunity for the 10 Youth Leaders to offer their own reflections on the forum, their hopes for the future, and recommendations for further engagement with youth in these discussions.

Why apply?

The 10 Youth Leaders selected will receive an all-expense paid trip to Vancouver for the Gathering Wisdom forum on May 15-17, 2018, including travel, accommodation and meals. In addition, the 10 Youth Leaders will receive a health and wellness prize package for their participation in the forum. Most importantly, the 10 Youth Leaders will have the opportunity to connect directly with First Nation leaders from across BC, and represent the voices of First Nation youth at the largest Indigenous health and wellness conference in the country.

Application and Selection Process

How to apply?

To apply, please submit an application by Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Applications are submitted online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GWIX-YouthApplication.

Requirements

  • Youth aged 16-30 years are eligible to apply
  • Must be enrolled in high school, or have completed Grade 12
  • Must have volunteer and leadership experience
  • Experience mentoring youth is an asset
  • Active participation in cultural activities is an asset
  • Must demonstrate community engagement and involvement
  • One reference from a non-family member (brief statement in MS Word or PDF including contact information)
  • Availability to attend 3-day forum in Vancouver, May 15, 16, 17, 2018
  • Be comfortable with publicly speaking to an audience of 700 attendees

Selection Process

  • To be accepted, candidates must show they meet the requirements listed above
  • A maximum of 10 youth candidates will be accepted – one female and one male from each of the five BC regions
  • Candidates will be accepted based on their submitted applications and relevant experience, ensuring fair representation from across BC
  • Candidates with completed applications will be reviewed by Gathering Wisdom event organizers as they are received, up to April 19, 2018
  • Accepted candidates will be notified no later than Thursday, April 26, 2018

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX FAQ

Date:

What does my community need to know about the Gathering Wisdom forum this year?

The Gathering Wisdom forum this year will feature discussions on health, mental health, and the social determinants of health. Based on feedback from the last Gathering Wisdom forum, it is important that there are opportunities to learn and contribute to the work of better health outcomes for First Nations in BC.

Gathering Wisdom IX will provide an opportunity for leaders and health and wellness leads to hear from the FNHA on health programs and services, learn more about promising practices from other communities across BC, discuss the role of health and healing in Nation rebuilding, and discuss new opportunities in the areas of mental health and the social determinants of health.

Most importantly, the Gathering Wisdom forum is an opportunity for leaders to discuss the direction of the social determinants of health strategy that the FNHC is leading.

Will there be a decision at the Gathering Wisdom forum this year?

Based on discussions with leaders at the Regional Caucuses in the fall, the FNHC has heard that communities need more time to talk about the direction of this work before making a province-wide decision. The upcoming Regional Caucuses will provide time for leaders to discuss the future direction of the FNHC and any future decisions that may need to be made related to work within the social determinants of health. At this year’s Gathering Wisdom forum, Chiefs will be asked to provide direction on the work within the social determinants of health.

Why is it important that Chiefs attend the Gathering Wisdom forum?

As decision-makers, it is important that Chiefs have information to support the health and wellness work they do in community. The Gathering Wisdom forum is an important part of the health governance process. It is an opportunity to provide Chiefs with an update on progress and discuss future directions for the health governance structure that we as BC First Nations have established.

While there may be no province-wide decision to make at Gathering Wisdom this year, the FNHC is asking for leadership direction on work within the social determinants of health. There will be keynote presentations on Nation rebuilding and opportunities for leadership dialogue throughout the three-day forum.

Can I meet with the FNHA on health programs?

Yes. There will be multiple opportunities to talk with the FNHA throughout the three-day forum. We will be hosting a series of information sessions to ensure communities get the information they need on health programs. In addition, we will ensure senior representatives of the FNHA are available to meet with leaders and health leads on the specific interests of their community. More information will be made available on this in the coming month.

Who is invited to attend?

Similar to the Regional Caucuses, we are pleased to invite three (3) representatives from each BC First Nation community in BC. This includes:

  1. Political Lead (e.g. Chief or Proxy)
  2. Health Lead (e.g. Health Director, Community Health Representative, or Health Portfolio Holder on Council)
  3. Social Lead (e.g. Social Development Director, Social Development Worker, or Children and Family Worker)

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.

In addition, we are pleased to invite one (1) representative from the following:

  • Delegated Aboriginal Agency
  • First Nation Umbrella Health Provider

What is the ‘social lead’ category on registration?

As the discussion on the social determinants of health is broader than health services, we want to include representatives that have responsibility for health and social services in their community. A ‘social lead’ may include, but is not limited to, a band manager, social development director, social development worker, social worker, or children and family worker. These are examples – each community should select the most appropriate representative to attend for their community.

Will there be a regional procession?

Yes. We encourage all attendees to bring your drums and regalia to participate in the regional procession on the first day.

How do I register?

To register, visit here: https://www.regonline.ca/gatheringwisdomIX

Ensure to register by the deadline of Friday, April 27, 2018 at 11:59pm to guarantee your seat and that a hotel room is available. After this date, registration cannot be guaranteed.

How does my community get reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs?

Travel expense reimbursement forms can be downloaded from multiple locations during the online registration process. In addition, hard copy forms will be supplied onsite at the Forum near registration.

Will there be other activities throughout the three day forum?

Yes. There will be a variety of Wellness Services open to all invited delegates to access. Potential services include traditional and cultural practices such as cedar brushing and smudging. In addition, a limited number of Artisan Vendors will be onsite offering products for sale.

Read the FAQs in PDF format here (PDF 96 KB)

Holiday Message from Grand Chief Doug Kelly

Date:

As I look back on the past seven years, it strikes me that our greatest strength, our diversity, could also be our greatest weakness.  The striking diversity of more than 200 communities, can at times, be our greatest weakness.

For several years now, the journey to transforming the world for our children and grandchildren, required us to create the space to listen, to learn, and then to act together.  We engage our leaders.  In doing so, we account for our work.  We hear the issues and questions and we bring them forward to our FNHC and when needed to the FNHA.  Always mindful of our role as leaders, advocates and high-level oversight – we do not mix politics with business.

Two months ago, our FNHA turned four years old.  Our FNHA went from crawling to walking, and is learning to run.  It has grown from a concept first imagined by the First Nations Summit in 1997.  Then, First Nations were our only willing partners.  The concept of self-determination in health was not embraced by others.

In 2005, the concept of First Nations controlling First Nations Health returned.  This time, our government partners shared our vision of self-determination in health.  From that 2005 concept, it took six years of years of engagement, dialogue – listening and learning.  We took missteps, faltered, fell, but we got up, dusted ourselves off and kept moving.  On May 26, 2011, Chiefs mandated us to move forward and create the FNHA.

It took the FNHC and our senior team two years and four months to build the FNHA and to prepare for service delivery.  Our agreement with Canada and British Columbia set out five years of hard work.  Our dedicated leader, Joe Gallagher and his team carried out this gruelling pace and finished the work for October 1, 2013.

We have found our feet, realized our potential, and committed to our vision – “Healthy, Self-Determining BC First Nations Children, Families, and Communities.”  Drawing upon our diversity as a strength, we will continue our work.  We will set the table, learn to listen, listen to learn, air out fears and strengthen our resolve to work together.  From the ground up, community-driven and Nation-based, we will chart our path forward.  We will find ways to increase First Nations decision-making.  We will work with the FNHA, our provincial and federal Deputy Minister partners to improve services.  We will work with our partners to support capacity development with our communities and Nations.  At every opportunity, we partner with others that share our vision.  We will continue our quest for personal, professional and organizational excellence – to be the best that we can be.

Our governance structure, engagement pathway, and leadership are tried, tested, true, and work.  Our Chiefs and Caregivers will help us to move forward in the right direction, changing the world for our children and grandchildren.

I love you my dear FNHC, FNHA, FNHDA family.  2018 is promising to be an exciting and challenging year, so take a break this Christmas season, be with your loved ones, rest, relax, and recharge.  We have much work to do next year to create a better world.  Listening and learning before we act allows our diversity to become a strength.  Focussing on a common vision, while respecting diversity, helps us to move the work forward together.  Merry Christmas to all of you and wishing all health and happiness in 2018.

-Grand Chief Doug Kelly, FNHC Chair

[Photo: Grand Chief Doug Kelly and Jennifer Jones, Health Director, Cowichan Tribes]

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.