Marc Miller, the Minister of Indigenous Services, with Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued the following statement today:

“Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), the Government of Canada, and the Government of Ontario remain committed to work together to address the need for a system-wide approach to health services for NAN territory by supporting First Nations-led health transformation initiatives.

On March 15, 2021, we met to reaffirm our strategic partnership. This meeting was also an opportunity to refocus our mutual commitment on transforming health care services management and delivery in NAN territory so that they can be more responsive to the distinct needs of NAN’s 49 First Nations member communities.

Primarily focused on the design, creation and sustainable management of institutions that support health care service delivery, the NAN Health System Transformation initiative is a collaborative, community-driven effort that involves First Nations health organizations in NAN territory – the Sioux Lookout First Nation Health Authority, the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority and NAN affiliated Tribal Councils.

Health transformation means restoring and enhancing accountability, responsibility and resource allocation for its First Nation members and moving from a crisis-response system to one that is centred on wellness and the needs and priorities of its communities.

A list of shared priorities was discussed and agreed upon that can be advanced in 2021-22. We have committed to working together on concrete actions to advance them.

It is our hope and expectation that our meeting will reinvigorate the NAN Health System Transformation process, which experienced delays due to the nation-wide response to COVID-19, and that our shared vision will guide our collaboration towards fulfilling this important task.”