Federal investments supporting First Nations-led health services and community safety in northern Manitoba

News release

November 25, 2022 — Winnipeg — Traditional Treaty 1 Territory, Manitoba — Indigenous Services Canada

Health and community safety systems that reflect the values and respond to the needs of First Nations help to improve outcomes and reduce disparities between First Nations and non-First Nations people. 

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, Grand Chief Garrison Settee of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and Dr. Barry Lavallee, CEO of Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM), announced federal funding to support First Nations health and community safety initiatives in northern Manitoba, including:

  • $23 million over two years for MKO and KIM to support progress towards transforming the design and delivery of health services; and,
  • More than $715,000 over three years to enhance the law-making capacity of MKO First Nations, through Indigenous Services Canada’s Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative

This health transformation investment is part of Budget 2021, which supports First Nations across Canada in creating new models of health service delivery that will increase access to quality care. Earlier this year, the Government of Canada, MKO and KIM launched the process to transfer control of federal health programs, services and functions to KIM, the recently established northern Manitoba First Nations-led health organization. The Government of Canada is committed to continuing to support MKO and KIM as they work towards systemic changes to how northern Manitoba First Nations access and receive health services.

Indigenous Services Canada and KIM are working to finalize an Agreement in Principle that will establish their future work relationships and shared priorities, which will guide the design and delivery of health care for First Nations in northern Manitoba. To this end, KIM is engaging First Nations communities to identify priorities for health and its design and structure as a new First Nations health organization.

Additionally, new federal investments in the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative will support MKO in strengthening their lawmaking capacity and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their northern Manitoba First Nations. This investment will allow MKO to advance recognition, respect, and enforcement of First Nation laws, by-laws and customary laws.

Greater self-determination and autonomy over health and community safety will result in high-quality, effective and culturally appropriate services that are tailored to First Nations communities needs.


“Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. are leading the way on Indigenous designed and led services. Today’s announcement of $23.7 million supports their work to design and deliver health care and community safety programs for their communities. Self-determination is the path to better care, healthier people and communities.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services


“It is the vision of the MKO First Nations that our MKO First Nation communities are the healthiest and safest places for our citizens to live. The recognition, respect, enforcement and adjudication of enforceable First Nation health and public safety standards and Laws that reflect community priorities are a key part of the path toward the health, safety and well-being of the MKO First Nations. MKO is working in partnership with KIM and Canada to develop Community Safety and Well-being Plans centered within an Indigenous world view and perspective and founded on Indigenous protocols, Customary Laws and objectives for public safety, health and wellness.”

Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

“During the pandemic, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. has demonstrated ability, and progressive leadership in health transformation for First Nations people in northern Manitoba. Our partnerships with the First Nations communities are the foundation to health transformation. The Federal government has provided solid support that will allow our team to continue to build towards a new and innovative healthcare system for First Nations. Moving forward our relationships with the Federal government, other regional parties play a significant role in changing the healthcare system.”

Dr. Barry Lavallee
CEO, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc.

Quick facts

  • In 2018, the federal government and the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards First Nation-led health care transformation in MKO territory.

  • First Nations health transformation is a collaborative process between Canada, First Nations partners, and provinces and territories, as they develop new First Nations-led health organizations to 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.

  • Budget 2021 included $107 million over 3 years to support First Nations health transformation with partners across the country.

  • Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM), which in Cree means “Northern Peoples’ Wellness”, was established in January 2020.

  • KIM is a First Nations health organization that represents 23 First Nations and has the mandate to ensure northern First Nations people in Manitoba have access to health related services that are reflective of the needs and priorities of First Nations people.

  • Many KIM communities are located in rural and remote locations and do not have year-round road access, which has resulted in additional challenges to delivering affordable health, education, and social services.

  • The Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative is providing $103.8 million over 5 years to assist First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and partners, both on and off reserves, to implement Indigenous-designed projects to improve community safety and well-being. The funding provided by ISC to enhance the lawmaking capacity of MKO First Nations is part of this overall investment.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Alison Murphy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Philip Paul-Martin
Communications Officer
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

Michael Dubé
Communications Coordinator
Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc.

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