Indigenous Health Highlights


Each week, the Indigenous Health department highlights good news stories from the North and from across the country.

Northeastern First Nations reclaim their land

5,200 hectares has been reclaimed by the Doig River First Nation and Blueberry River First Nation in Northeastern BC. The land was reclaimed through a Treaty Land Entitlement agreement between the two Nations after being stripped from the Nations in the 1900s. 

The reclaiming of this land has led to the development of a business hub called Naache Commons (Dreamers Commons). Blueberry River Chief Judy Desjarlais explains that after almost 20 years of negotiations, to finally reclaim the land "is a generational opportunity for our Nation."

Read more about the Nations reclaiming their land.

Nation in the northwest declares Marine Protected Area

The Kitasoo Xai'xais Stewardship Authority has declared a new Marine Protected Area in their territory, the Great Bear Rainforest. The 33.5 square kilometer area of pristine ocean is home to many species including birds, whales, salmon, cod, halibut, shellfish, and kelp forests. 

Establishing the Marine Protected Area is an action that reinforces Rights and Title and the connection the people have had to the land since time immemorial. Hereditary Chief Kelly Robinson highlights the important connection to the land for his people, “We know these lands and waters better than anyone, Kitasu Bay has been part of our home for thousands of years through to the present day. This coast is our lifeblood.” 

Take the next step in learning about this declaration by the Nation.

Fibre optic cable to Haida Gwaii to improve access 

A total of 87 kilometers of fibre optic cable has been laid across the Hecate Strait to provide high speed connectivity to Haida Gwaii. Work will continue to activate the line over the coming months. This infrastructure development is working toward achieving a national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030. 

Reliable high-speed internet has become critical in ensuring those who live in rural and remote areas can have the same level of access to jobs, education, and virtual health care services as available to urban populations. Christine Smith-Martin, CEO of Coastal First Nations, elaborates that the development "will bring transformational change to our communities and a range of new educational, employment and economic opportunities. It will allow us to showcase Indigenous technology and stewardship innovation to the world."

Explore this infrastructure development by reviewing the Government of BC release.