Canada continues support for First Nations health transformation for Mi'kmaw health and wellness
January 18, 2022 — Millbrook First Nation, Traditional unceded Mi'kmaq territory, Nova Scotia — Indigenous Services Canada
Today, Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Lindsay Peach, Executive Director of Tajikeimɨk, reaffirmed their support and partnership for the transformation of the design and delivery of health services that serve Mi'kmaw communities in Nova Scotia through Tajikeimɨk and the communities themselves.
Minister Hajdu has announced that Indigenous Services Canada is committing $8.96 million in federal funding over the next two years to continue to support the partnership between the 13 First Nations Chiefs in Nova Scotia and Tajikeimɨk—a new and developing health and wellness authority working on behalf of the Mi'kmaw communities.
As the first federal investment to support health transformation in Atlantic Canada, this funding will help sustain and enhance the important work of health surveillance, which has already proven valuable for the well-coordinated management and delivery of health services. Throughout and since 2021, Tajikeimɨk has demonstrated leadership in coordinating between the 13 First Nations, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada to assist First Nations communities in their COVID-19 pandemic response and vaccine roll out.
First Nations health transformation is a collaborative process between First Nations partners, the federal government, and provinces and territories. The intent is to create a more coordinated health system in which First Nations-led health organizations assume greater control of the design, administration, management and delivery of health services and programs that support community wellness and address their health needs and priorities.
With this funding announcement, five federally funded health transformation initiatives are now underway—in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Tajikeimɨk is leading the health transformation process for the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia to eventually take control of the design and delivery of health and wellness services, ensuring a high-quality, culturally safe and holistic approach to programs and services. The shared goal by all partners is to improve health outcomes and the well-being of the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia.
The paths to achieving health transformation vary considerably across different regions as First Nations identify and design service delivery solutions that are tailored to meet their communities' needs. These planned health models—each in their own way—will aim to foster a more accessible health care system for the communities they serve, ensuring that health services are high quality and culturally safe.
"Canada stands in partnership with Tajikeimɨk, the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia and First Nations Chiefs, as we work together to transform the federal role in health by establishing and supporting health care and service delivery by First Nations, for First Nations. Thanks to the hard work of Chiefs and health directors from the 13 First Nations of Nova Scotia, this work will help to address gaps in health services, improve wellness, and build the foundation for a new health and wellness authority."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
"For many years, our Nation has worked hard to address the significant and long-standing health disparities between Mi'kmaq and non-Indigenous Nova Scotians—often overcoming considerable challenges. I am proud of the accomplishments to date, and I am encouraged by the opportunities this commitment from the federal government will bring. By working together differently and strengthening coordination, we can ensure high-quality, culturally safe, wholistic health and wellness programs and services that improve health outcomes for Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia."
Chief Andrea Paul
Pictou Landing First Nation
Lead Chief, Health Portfolio, Mi'kmaw Chiefs of Nova Scotia
"Transforming the health and wellness of Mi'kmaw communities requires systemic change through thoughtful collaboration with federal and provincial health system partners. This federal commitment of funding and support is an important milestone on our journey to develop a new, self-determined health system that is guided by Mi'kmaw culture and values, rooted in two-eyed seeing and informed through community engagement."
Lindsay Peach, Executive Director
"The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia deserve a high-quality health system that reflects their communities and leads to better health outcomes for their peoples. Nova Scotia is committed to successful health system transformation under the leadership of and partnership with Tajikeimɨk."
Honourable Michelle Thompson
Nova Scotia Minister of Health and Wellness
Tajikeimɨk, the Mi'kmaw health and wellness authority, is guided by the Chiefs and health directors from the 13 First Nations in Nova Scotia and the Mi'kmaw Grand Council.
Tajikeimɨk is currently being hosted as a project of the Ulnooweg Development Group. Ulnooweg is a non-profit organization that provides loans, support services, education and philanthropic connections to Indigenous entrepreneurs and community enterprises throughout the Atlantic region.
Canada's federal Budget 2018 provided $71.1 million over three years to fund health transformation initiatives to identify and design service delivery solutions tailored to their respective community's needs.
Canada's federal Budget 2021 committed an additional $107.1 million to health transformation over three years, to build upon the efforts of Budget 2018 projects and support and launch new projects with First Nations now ready to create new models of health service delivery that will increase access to quality care in their communities.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada
Director, Communications and Engagement
Director of Communications
Nova Scotia Health and Wellness/COVID-19 Response
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