The First Nations Health Authority, Northern Health, and the Northern Regional Caucus representing 55 First Nations communities in the North formally renewed their collective commitment to optimizing the health and well-being of First Nations through the signing of the updated Northern Partnership Accord (NPA). After the close of a voting process that demonstrated community endorsement of the renewed agreement, a signing ceremony was held in Prince George on May 10, 2022, to celebrate, acknowledge, and renew the partnership commitment to each other and to Northern First Nations communities.
The Northern Partnership Accord was originally signed in 2012. The 2022 version of the document reflects “ongoing growth, evolution, and strengthening of the partnerships and directs the development of joint work plans to support the implementation of their shared priorities… in signing the Accord, the partners have committed to improving health and wellness services accessed by First Nations in the Northern Region and will work within their part of the health system to support the work under the Accord” (FNHA, 2022, p.3).
The Northern First Nations Health Partnership Committee (NFNHPC) is the key oversight committee for the NPA and the implementation of the Northern First Nations Health and Wellness Plan which strives to address the priorities of northern FN communities in partnership between FNHA, NHA and nations. This work also further assists us in working collaboratively in upholding and addressing Recommendations from In Plain Sight and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action as well as the Articles set forth in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The most recent meeting of the NFNHPC was held on April 7, 2022, followed by a Communique outlining five key priority items discussed at the meeting including the NPA, crisis response, mandate letters from the Ministry of Health to the Health Authorities, Primary Care and Mental Wellness Substance Use Working Groups, and Indigenous Patient Liaisons.