Health Canada

Health Canada

November 01, 2007 17:30 ET

Government of Canada Renews Memorandum of Understanding on Indigenous Health with the United States of America

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 1, 2007) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Federal Minister of Health and Secretary of Health, Mike Leavitt, of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, today renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Indigenous Health at a signing ceremony in Washington, DC. The renewal of the MOU affirms the commitment of Canada and the United States to continue working over the next five years to improve the health status of their respective Indigenous populations.

"This MOU on Indigenous Health has led to tangible progress in the last five years on many important health issues such as maternal and child health, disease prevention and mental health and addictions," said Minister Clement. "The renewal of this MOU demonstrates Canada's commitment to continue working collaboratively with our American counterparts, Aboriginal partners, and others to improve the quality of life and promote a prosperous future for all Aboriginal peoples."

The MOU was first implemented in 2002, out of a mutual recognition by the Governments of Canada and the United States of America that the health status of First Nations and Inuit in Canada and American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States share many of the same characteristics and challenges. The agreement aims to improve the health of Indigenous peoples' in Canada and the US by sharing experiences and best practices in policy development, research and the provision of health services between officials, community members, researchers and health service providers.

"We have made important strides in raising the health status of indigenous people in the United States and Canada through the sharing of health information, education, and training over the past five years of this partnership," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Leavitt said. "This new agreement holds much promise for future improvements in quality health care services and overall health promotion for Native communities in the United States and Canada."

Examples of progress made in the last five years include nursing personnel exchanges, which provided primary health care givers the opportunity to share best practices and improve the service they deliver to Indigenous communities. As well, a Joint Summer Institute for Indigenous Health Research was established to provide young Indigenous researchers the opportunity to share research and knowledge in the battle to overcome the many social determinants of health specific to Indigenous people.

A broad Plan of Action has been developed by officials and Indigenous representatives for the next five years, which calls for activities in the areas of, but not restricted to, Maternal and Child Health, Disease Prevention and Environmental Health, and Suicide and Substance Abuse Prevention.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Carole Saindon
    Office of the Honourable Tony Clem
    Federal Minister of Health
    Laryssa Waler
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