A New Approach for Tripartite Investment in First Nation Mental Health and Wellness

News release

May 17, 2018 - COAST SALISH TERRITORY, Vancouver, B.C. - Indigenous Services Canada

Building on the progress of the tripartite health initiative, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) have agreed to take significant steps to improve First Nation mental health wellness outcomes in BC.
First Nations in BC have identified mental health and wellness as a top priority. Through discussions on the social determinants of health and wellness led by the FNHC, BC First Nations have been consistent in their calls for immediate action to improve mental health and wellness services and supports.
The Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the FNHC will establish a new approach for federal and provincial investment in mental health and wellness services. This new funding approach will allow First Nations to plan, design and deliver a continuum of community-based mental health and wellness services based on their health plans and priorities. Through this new approach, the partners aim to simplify the process for First Nations to access funding for mental health and wellness services by pooling federal and provincial funding and establishing new and more flexible funding arrangements that focus on outcomes. The partners are committed to facilitating greater cross-government collaboration to enhance the coordination of mental health and wellness services accessed by First Nation children, youth and families in BC.  
As part of this new agreement, Canada, BC and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will each invest $10 million over two years for a total funding commitment of $30 million. This initial investment will support a series of demonstration sites that support enhanced service delivery models for mental health and wellness. In addition, this initial investment will support First Nation communities and Nations in BC to develop, renew or redesign mental health and wellness plans in a manner that aligns with their vision of health and wellness. These plans will focus on prevention and enhancing protective factors associated with positive mental health and wellness outcomes.
Canada and BC recognize the need to build, repair, renovate and expand a number of Indigenous treatment centres in BC. This aligns with the Province of British Columbia’s commitment to transform the mental health and addictions system of care to ensure a seamless, integrated, and comprehensive experience where all British Columbians, including Indigenous Peoples, can access effective culturally safe services and supports. Canada, BC, the FNHC and the FNHA are committed to working together as partners in the Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance (2011) to develop a tripartite plan to address these objectives. This plan will be presented at the next meeting of the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health in September 2018.
Today’s announcement was made at Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IX, a forum hosted by the FNHC on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver that brings together First Nations from across BC to engage in direct dialogue with each other and federal, provincial and health system partners on factors that influence the health and wellness of their children, families and communities.


“Mental health and wellness is a priority shared by all partners, and I am pleased to see this commitment announced today between the Government of Canada, the Province of BC, and the First Nations Health Council. Providing greater flexibility and focusing more on health outcomes, this tripartite commitment will allow First Nation communities in BC to better develop, renew or redesign plans and services in a manner that aligns with their vision of health and wellness. ”                               

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“These investments and the priorities they address are the result of the engagement we have done with our regional and sub-regional caucuses,” said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair of the First Nations Health Council. “They’ve told us that untreated trauma and mental health and substance use issues are perpetuating the physical, psychological and economic disparities suffered by our people. By making these investments today, we are building the foundation of our shared vision of healthy, self-determining and vibrant First Nation children, families and communities.”

Grand Chief Doug Kelly
Chair of the First Nations Health Council

“Our ministry is working in close partnership with the First Nations Health Council and First Nations Health Authority to strengthen and expand the First Nation community response for mental health and addictions programs and services,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.  “This investment demonstrates our commitment to work alongside First Nation communities, and our commitment to reconciliation through action and healing.”

The Honourable Judy Darcy
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, British Columbia

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada, the Province of BC and First Nations in BC have established a broad and enduring health partnership that is set out in a series of health plans and agreements, including the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan (2007), the Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance (2011) and the Health Partnership Accord (2012). Through these health plans and agreements, Canada, BC and BC First Nations have established a new health governance structure and relationship that supports the tripartite partners to achieve their shared vision for a better, more responsive and integrated health system for First Nations in BC.

  • The First Nations Health Council is a political advocacy body appointed by BC First Nations to support First Nations in achieving their health priorities and objectives and to provide oversight to the First Nations Health Authority. For more information about the First Nations Health Council visit www.fnhc.ca.

  • The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is responsible for planning, management, service delivery and funding of health programs, in partnership with First Nations communities in BC. For more information about the First Nations Health Authority, visit www.fnha.ca.‎


Gavin Wilson
Media Relations
First Nations Health Authority

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions Communications
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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