Supporting and improving Indigenous-led health care for First Nations in British Columbia

2023 April 14

Today’s announcement is an important step toward ensuring that decisions that impact the health of First Nations can be made by First Nations. We’re committed to working in partnership with Indigenous communities to deliver the best results for people’s health, build a more resilient health care system, and ensure that our country’s health care systems respect the unique needs of Indigenous Peoples so that everyone can get the medical care they need, when they need it.

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Everyone deserves equal access to quality health care, free from racism and discrimination. That’s why the Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to support greater Indigenous control of health services and deliver better health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was joined today by the Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, and the leaders of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), on Coast Salish Traditional Territory, to announce the signing of a renewed 10-year Canada Funding Agreement with the FNHA in British Columbia, to deliver better health care for First Nations in the province. Through the agreement, $8.2 billion in funding will support the FNHA as it continues to deliver and improve the health systems that serve and support over 200 First Nations communities in the province. This includes but is not limited to continuing to develop innovative supports for mental health and wellness needs, increasing access to quality, culturally safe care, and strengthening coordination between the FNHA and the provincial health care services to better meet the unique needs of First Nations communities.

The Government of Canada transferred control of First Nations health operations in British Columbia to the First Nations in the province 10 years ago, following the signing of a historic agreement in 2011. Since then, the FNHA has transformed how health care is delivered to First Nations in the province, ensuring that health funding is distributed wherever it is needed most, to support healthy, self-determining, and vibrant communities across the province.

Today’s announcement is in addition to the recently announced Indigenous Health Equity Fund, a federal investment of $2 billion over 10 years to address the unique challenges Indigenous Peoples across Canada face when it comes to fair and equitable access to quality and culturally safe health care services. We will continue working collaboratively with Indigenous partners and communities to address these gaps, support Indigenous health priorities, and work toward eliminating health inequalities for all.