First Nations Health Transformation Agenda
June 15 2017
The First Nations Health Transformation Agenda (FNHTA) was originally conceived of in order to influence the federal/provincial/territorial (F/P/T) Health Accord negotiations. In order to ensure diverse First Nations perspectives, the AFN Health Sector sought direction from the AFN’s Chiefs Committee on Health, the National First Nations Health Technicians Network, the AFN Elders Council, a team of health economists, a dedicated Task Team comprised of subject matter experts, and legal experts on Aboriginal law.
Overall, the FNHTA includes 85 recommendations for FPTs across a wide spectrum of priority areas including: Closing the Jurisdictional Gaps, including Jordan’s Principle; Support for Traditional Healing; Ensuring Cultural Safety/Humility; Supporting First Nations Human Resources for Wellness; Investing in Adequate Health Facilities and Capital Supports; Ensuring Flexible and Adequate Primary Care Investments; Supporting First Nations Initiatives on Chronic and Communicable Diseases; Expanding Access to eHealth; Ensuring Access to Child and Family Programming; Supporting First Nations Mental Wellness and Addictions Programming; Ensuring Access to Home and Community Care, including Palliative Care; and Supporting First Nations Health Data Initiatives.
Beyond the specific policy recommendations, the overarching messages of the FNHTA are:
- Getting the Relationships Right- for all of those within the healthcare world, but in particular federal, provincial and territorial governments, to work with First Nations in a way which respects First Nations right to self-determination, as part of Treaty, inherent and international rights. The FNHTA seeks to push federal/provincial/territorial actors to engage with First Nations rights-holders in building these vital relationships.
- Meaningful Investments in First Nations Health– speaks to the need for significant and immediate investments in program areas across the board. First Nations health systems are profoundly underfunded, a fact which contributes significantly to the overall poor health outcomes of First Nations people.
- Support First Nations Capacity First– speaks to the need to support First Nations people, communities and organizations in building capacity in the area of health and wellness, rather than turning to mainstream organizations to do work on behalf of First Nations. First Nations have the right and the knowledge to develop our own healthcare and health systems solutions. The missing link continues to be capacity support.