NAN Calls for First Nation Representation as Prime Minister to meet with Premiers on Health Funding

TORONTO, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Derek Fox is calling for NAN First Nations to be represented when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with provincial health ministers next week:

“Despite signing a Charter of Relationship Principles with our federal and provincial Treaty partners, NAN First Nations continue to be left out of any meaningful decision-making. The health-care needs of First Nations patients are unique, yet we have been shown time and time again that the current state of health-care is failing us, and decisions on the health of our people continue to be made without us.

We know that there is a limited amount of funding, especially coming out of the pandemic. With the state of health-care in serious trouble across this country, it is even more important to include us in any discussions that will ultimately impact our health and well-being.

First Nations people for decades have shared challenges with the two-tiered health system that has been imposed on us. Our federal and provincial Treaty partners must recognize that meeting behind closed doors on such crucial decisions without the input of First Nations does not respect or consider the renewed relationship that the Charter contemplates and puts in further jeopardy negative health outcomes for First Nations people.

I am calling on the Prime Minister to include representatives of Nishnawbe Aski Nation at this meeting with the provinces as a sign of commitment to the health of our people.”  

NAN signed the Charter of Relationship Principles Governing Health System Transformation in NAN Territory with the federal and provincial government in 2017, expressing a tripartite commitment to “develop and sustain a renewed relationship that is a partnership” to “result in immediate, medium and long-term transformative change to the existing heath system at the NAN community level”.

NAN Chiefs declared a Health and Public Health Emergency for First Nations across NAN territory in in 2016 due to decades of perpetual crisis and persistent health care inequities. It is an assertion of the inherent Treaty rights of NAN members to equal opportunities for health, including access to appropriate, timely, high-quality health care.

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790

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