Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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May 25, 2016

NAN RESPONDS TO ONTARIO HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT

THUNDER BAY, ON (May 25, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) acknowledges investments in Indigenous health care announced today by the Government of Ontario as a positive first step to begin to address the significant gaps in health care in NAN First Nations.

“These investments symbolize the recognition of the significant gaps in health care in NAN First Nations and represent a good starting point for the development of a relationship with the province to improve health outcomes for our people,” said NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “This includes several positive areas, but the real test will be seeing how these investments roll out at the community level. We look forward to working with Ontario through our trilateral relationship with the Government of Canada to transform the way our communities are resourced with health services.”

NAN is encouraged that the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has committed to an increase in physician service days, nursing and public health service capacity, and the creation of an Associate Medical Officer of Health in the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority region. Moving forward, NAN is seeking new investments from the province for children’s developmental services, mental health services and land-based healing programs.

“The health emergency across NAN territory is a national tragedy that requires immediate attention by both levels of government and we are encouraged that the provincial health minister has recognized the need for action,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox, who holds the health portfolio. “We look forward to working with health officials from Ontario and Canada to develop solutions that will have an immediate impact to improve health outcomes for our communities across NAN territory.”

NAN and representatives of the Sioux Lookout Area Chiefs Committee on Health declared a Health and Public Health Emergency in February 2016 to address urgent and long-standing health issues caused by the inequality of health and health care services in NAN First Nations. The declaration includes immediate, intermediate and long-term action strategies and calls on the governments of Ontario and Canada to take immediate action to address this crisis.

For more information please contact: Tamara Piché, Communications Officer – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4906 or cell (807) 621-5549 or by email tpiche@nan.on.ca.

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