Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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August 10, 2016


TAYKWA TAGAMOU NATION (August 10,2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson announced their commitment to work together to improve the health of their members and communities with the signing of a Political Unity Accord on First Nations Health. 

“I am pleased and honored to formalize the NAN/MKO partnership on Health. At the MKO General Assembly on Health in April, 2016 I was directed by MKO Chiefs-in-Assembly to follow up on the discussions and a Resolution to formalize the relationship. This Accord marks a significant step forward for addressing the social and economic determinants of health and for improving health outcomes for all citizens across both MKO and NAN territories,” said MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson. 

“First Nations across Ontario and Manitoba face similar crisis from inequitable delivery of health services to northern and remote communities. We look forward to working with Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, MKO leaders and health officials, and I am confident that by working together we can significantly improve health outcomes for our people,” said NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
The Unity Accord was signed today during NAN’s XXXV Keewaywin Conference (August 9-11) in Taykwa Tagamou Nation, near Cochrane, Ontario. The Accord will see NAN and MKO work together to:

  • formalize a cooperative working relationship to develop a renewed health strategy for the benefit of NAN and MKO First Nations;
  • formalize a commitment to advance the renewed health strategy in negotiations with the provincial and federal governments;
  • develop a protocol agreement to implement the renewed health strategy; and
  • identify and focus on of issues and initiatives that are of common interest or concern across MKO and NAN territories.

On February 24, 2016 Grand Chief Fiddler and representatives of the Sioux Lookout Area Chiefs Committee on Health declared a Health and Public Health Emergency for First Nations in the Sioux Lookout region and across NAN territory. Grand Chief North Wilson supported NAN’s call for action as communities across MKO territory face a similar health crisis situation, and made a firm and committed stand for equitable and high quality health services for their people.

NAN and MKO have a history of working together to advocate for improved access to health care and service delivery in their respective First Nations communities. They partnered for a press conference on Parliament Hill in 2015 to urge the Government of Canada to engage with First Nations on a course of action after a scathing report by the Auditor General of Canada confirmed the continued failure of Health Canada to address the health care needs of First Nations in northern and remote First Nations in Ontario and Manitoba

Nishnawbe Aski Nation represents 49 First Nations in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty No. 5 – an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario in Canada.
Contact: Michael Heintzman – (807) 625-4965 or cell (807) 621-2790,

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that has represented 30 First Nation communities in Manitoba’s North since 1981.
Contact: Curtis Mallett – (204) 927-7500 or by email

To download the news release click here