In order to address the jurisdictional disputes concerning Aboriginal people who do not reside on reserves, we call upon the federal government to recognize, respect, and address the distinct health needs of the Métis, Inuit, and off-reserve Aboriginal peoples.

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusNov. 9, 2020STALLED
Previous StatusAug. 17, 2020STALLED

Why “Stalled”?

On June 2, 2020 the Federal government announced $85 million in funding for the construction and operation of 12 new shelters for Indigenous women and girls: 10 in the provinces and 2 in the territories as well as ongoing operating costs plus funding for the Métis related shelter provision and projects. However, the new funding does not include any Inuit-specific shelters for women and children fleeing violence. Indigenous Services Canada only funds on-reserve shelters leaving the Inuit short-changed.

Federal Government is working through the Canada Métis Nation Accord and the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee to address the distinct health needs of Métis and Inuit and explicitly includes Métis and Inuit off-reserve health needs even though Métis and Inuit do not live on reserve. Only First Nations live on-reserve and the off-reserve needs of First Nations are not explicitly acknowledged or addressed.

Federal Government Commitments

Spring 2016 – Health Canada provided funding to AFN, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapariit Kanatami to develop distinctions-based health priorities to inform future health investments.

April 13, 2017 – Metis Nation Accord signed between the government of Canada and the Métis National Council. The Parties will undertake to examine and consider options for acting on:

  • Development of approaches to respond to specific health needs and priorities;
  • Opportunities for Métis Nation to engage with the federal government in health and wellness policy, program development, and delivery;
  • Collaboration with federal and relevant provincial governments to work together, and within their jurisdictions, with Métis Nation leaders to determine areas of shared priority; and to improve the coordination, continuity and appropriateness of health services for Métis people.

August, 2017 – A Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health priorities. Endorsed by the federal, provincial and territory governments, the statement acknowledges the significant disparities in Indigenous health outcomes compared to the Canadian population.

Sept. 10, 2018 – Inuit Nunangat Declaration Priorities: Distinct Health Needs. Inuit-specific Child First Initiative and framework is under development and interim measures are available for Inuit families to submit requests to Indigenous Services Canada on behalf of Inuit children requiring access to the health, social and education products, services and supports they need. 

Federal Health Budget

  • $498 million, with $97.6 million per year ongoing, to sustain access to critical medical care and services, including 24/7 nursing services in 79 remote and isolated First Nations communities. 
  • $200 million, with $40 million per year ongoing, to enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention services in First Nations communities with high needs. 
  • $235 million to work with First Nations partners to transform First Nations health systems by expanding successful models of self-determination so that health programs and services are developed delivered and controlled by and for First Nations. This investment will also support access to quality and First Nations-controlled health care in remote and isolated James Bay communities as part of the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement. 
  • $490 million over two years to preserve access to medically necessary health benefits and services through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program. 
  • $109 million over 10 years, with $6 million per year ongoing, to respond to high rates of tuberculosis in Inuit communities, and develop a better understanding of the unique health needs of Inuit peoples through the co-creation of a distinct Inuit Health Survey. 
  • $6 million over five years to support the Métis Nation in gathering health data and developing a health strategy.
A Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities

Aug, 2017 – Recognizing the significant disparities in Indigenous health outcomes compared to the Canadian population, the federal, provincial and territorial governments are committed to working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to improve access to health services and health outcomes of Indigenous peoples and discuss progress. At the national level, the federal government is committed to working with national First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership in response to their identified health priorities (developed through the First Nations Health Transformation Agenda, an Inuit –Specific Approach to the Canadian Health Accord and the Métis National Health Shared Agenda). At the regional level, federal, provincial and territorial Health Ministers commit to meaningfully engage and to working together with regional Indigenous organizations and governments.

FPT Health Ministers commit to approaching health decisions in their respective jurisdictions through a lens that promotes respect and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

Objectives

This Common Statement of Principles focuses on two priority areas (home and community care, and mental health and addictions) where federal funding will be provided to Provinces and Territories in response to increased demands.

Principles to Guide Actions

All elements of the Statement of Principles will be interpreted in full respect of each government’s jurisdiction, guided by the following principles:

A. Collaboration: FPT Health Ministers agree to work together to achieve the objectives set out in this Statement of Principles.
B. Innovation: FPT Health Ministers agree to continue the development and evaluation of innovations which deliver better outcomes for Canadians, and to share successes and lessons learned with a view to further stimulating improvement across health systems.
C. Accountability: FPT Health Ministers agree to measure progress on the collective and jurisdiction-specific goals under this Statement of Principles, and to report to Canadians.

Improving Access to Mental Health and Addiction Services

Over the next ten years, FPT Health Ministers will work together to improve access to evidence-supported mental health and addiction services and supports for Canadians and their families by pursuing one or more of the following actions:

  • Expanding access to community-based mental health and addiction service for children and youth (age 10–25), recognizing the effectiveness of early interventions to treat mild to moderate mental health disorders;
  • Spreading evidence-based models of community mental health care and culturally-appropriate interventions that are integrated with primary health services; and
  • Expanding availability of integrated community-based mental health and addiction services for people with complex health needs.

To support provinces and territories to improve access to mental health and addiction services through such initiatives, the federal government will provide the provinces and territories with $5.0 billion over ten years starting with $100 million in 2017/18.

Improving Access to Home and Community Care

Over the next ten years, FPT Health Ministers will work together to improve access to appropriate services and supports in home and community, including palliative and end-of-life care, by pursuing one or more of the following actions:

  • Spreading and scaling evidence-based models of home and community care that are more integrated and connected with primary health care;
  • Enhancing access to palliative and end of life care at home or in hospices;
  • Increasing support for caregivers; and
  • Enhancing home care infrastructure, such as digital connectivity, remote monitoring technology and facilities for community based service delivery

To assist with improving access to appropriate home and community care, the federal government will provide PT governments with $6.0 billion over 10 years, starting with $200 million in 2017/18.

https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/documents/corporate/transparency_229055456/health-agreements/principles-shared-health-priorities.pdf

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

In spring 2016, Health Canada provided funding to the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council to develop distinctions-based health priorities that will form the basis for collaborative work and inform future federal health investments. In August 2017, the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities included a commitment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to improve access to health services and health outcomes for Indigenous peoples.

The Government of Canada is engaging the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee and Métis National Council through the Canada Métis Nation Accord to advance the health priorities of Indigenous peoples who do not live on reserve. Work plans are being developed to guide future efforts on jointly identified priority areas. Regional specific Métis interests, including those related to health, are also being discussed at the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs-led Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination tables with each of the Métis governing members.

Indigenous Services Canada works in close partnership with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami at the national level and with Inuit regional land claims organizations located in the Northern, Quebec and Atlantic regions to increase access to health services and to improve health outcomes. As part of these efforts, the department has committed to an Inuit Health Approach which states that it will “work with Inuit, territorial and provincial governments, and other federal partners to develop an approach to Inuit health that informs planning.” The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami also participates on a number of committees and working groups to collaborate on areas of mutual interest and advance Inuit health priorities. 

Through a distinctions based-approach, Budget 2018 announced $1.5 billion over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2018 to 2019, and $149 million per year ongoing, as follows:

  • $498 million, with $97.6 million per year ongoing, to sustain access to critical medical care and services, including 24/7 nursing services in 79 remote and isolated First Nations communities
  • $200 million, with $40 million per year ongoing, to enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention services in First Nations communities with high needs
  • $235 million to work with First Nations partners to transform First Nations health systems by expanding successful models of self-determination so that health programs and services are developed, delivered and controlled by and for First Nations. This investment will also support access to quality and First Nations-controlled health care in remote and isolated James Bay communities, as part of the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement
  • $490 million over 2 years to preserve access to medically necessary health benefits and services through the Non-Insured Health Benefits program
  • $109 million over 10 years, with $6 million per year ongoing, to respond to high rates of tuberculosis in Inuit communities and develop a better understanding of the unique health needs of Inuit peoples through the co-creation of a distinct Inuit Health Survey
  • $6 million over 5 years to support the Métis Nation in gathering health data and developing a health strategy