Agreement Reaffirms Tripartite Commitment for Improving Mental Health and Wellness Services with First Nations in British Columbia

News release

July 26, 2018 - COAST SALISH TERRITORY Vancouver, BC - Indigenous Services Canada

Today Don Rusnak, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services on behalf of Minister Jane Philpott, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Health Council were pleased to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on improving mental health and wellness in BC First Nations.

This MOU strengthens the announcement made on May 17, 2018, that highlighted the shared commitment of all partners on improving mental health and wellness services, supports and outcomes in BC First Nations by establishing a new approach for federal and provincial investments.


“Signing this MOU today with the First Nations Health Council and the Province of British Columbia marks another step forward in our shared work to improve mental health and wellness services and supports. This First Nations-led vision will provide greater flexibility and a heightened focus on health outcomes. ‎I applaud the First Nations Health Council for their leadership on this file.”

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

“First Nations communities tell us that mental health and wellness is a top priority across all five health regions. Chiefs and caregivers tell us that mental health and wellness is not absence of illness but is a balancing of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of wellness. This MOU enables action with a commitment of funds to support innovative community-driven models for mental health and wellness services. It will also support infrastructure renovations and new development within First Nations communities in BC.”

Grand Chief Doug Kelly
Chair of the First Nations Health Council

“Working together and putting people at the centre of our partnership will create the best results for First Nations people in BC. We are committed to this new approach that will give First Nations in B.C. the resources they need to support the mental health and wellness of their communities.  Concrete action on health and wellness is a key measure of our commitment to reconciliation.”

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

Quick facts

  • On May 17, 2018, the shared parties announced “A New Approach for Tripartite Investment in First Nation Mental Health and Wellness”. This MOU reaffirms the commitments made in this announcement.

  • Canada, BC and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will each invest $10 million over the next two years for mental health and wellness. This represents $30 million of funding for mental health and wellness. This initial investment will support a series of demonstration sites that support enhanced service delivery models for mental health and wellness. Funds are expected to flow directly to communities beginning in the fall of 2018 after the implementation plan has been finalized between all partners.

  • 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, BC, the FNHA and the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) will work together to develop a plan to build, renovate, repair and expand Indigenous treatment centres in BC. This plan will be complete by September 2018.

  • 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 support the tripartite partners to achieve their shared vision for a better, more responsive and integrated health system for First Nations in BC.

  • The FNHC is a political advocacy body appointed by BC First Nations to support First Nations in BC to achieve their health priorities and objectives and to provide oversight of the FNHA. For more information about the FNHC and to read a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (which will be available on line in the coming days) visit the First Nations Health Council website.

Associated links


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

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Media Relations
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Media Relations
First Nations Health Council

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