British Columbia’s Aboriginal Health Authority will receive $8.2 billion over the next decade to help 200 Aboriginal communities renew funding from the federal government.
In a statement from Squamish Nation in West Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said authorities have changed the way health services are provided to First Nations in British Columbia
Trudeau said today’s announcement is about ensuring the best possible health outcomes for Indigenous peoples and that this type of collaboration is needed across the country.
The agency took over the BC First Nations health care program from the federal government in 2013 and is responsible for the planning, administration and implementation of the health program.
In a statement, the government said disparities in Indigenous health care could only be addressed if the cultural, social, economic and historical disadvantage that led to intergenerational trauma was addressed.
Indigenous peoples have been battling the colonial effects of genocide and systemic racism and it will take some time to change the system, said Wayne Christian, vice-president of the Aboriginal Health Council.
The First Nations Health Authority is the first of its kind in Canada, although two of five other similar health initiatives are underway in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.
Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu told the same crowd that the Aboriginal Health Board was an inspiration for the rest of the country.
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