Ottawa signs agreement with Nova Scotia First Nations chiefs on health services

HALIFAX- The federal government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq chiefs on the transfer of federal health services.


Today’s agreement with the 13 chiefs continues a process that will ultimately transform the design and delivery of health services for Mi’kmaq throughout the province.


As a result of the signing, Mi’kmaq chiefs, the federal government and the government of Nova Scotia are to work toward a framework agreement to complete the transfer process over the next several years.


The end result will see the delivery of health services through Tajikeim?k, a Mi’kmaq health and wellness organization guided by the

13 chiefs and the Mi’kmaq Grand Council.


Last year, Indigenous Services Canada committed $8.96 million over two years to support Tajikeim?k, and it announced an additional

$6.79 million in funding in March.


Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu and the 13 First Nations chiefs participated in the signing ceremony in Millbrook, N.S.


“We are all committed to transferring control of the design and delivery of federal health and wellness services and programs to the Mi’kmaq and transforming and creating a new system that is Mi’kmaq-led, culturally safe, comprehensive and trauma-informed,”

Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul said in a news release.


Hajdu said health services improve when First Nations are involved. “This agreement lays the groundwork to build a culturally safe and high-quality health system for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia,” she said.


In addition to Nova Scotia, federally funded health transformation initiatives are underway in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.


Last week, Ottawa announced $8.2 billion over 10 years to help the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia improve health and wellness.


The B.C. authority  the first of its kind in Canada,_ took over planning, management and delivery of health care for that province’s First Nations  from Ottawa in 2013.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2023.



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