Health Canada

Health Canada
Assembly of First Nations

Assembly of First Nations

December 15, 2010 18:04 ET

Government of Canada, Assembly of First Nations Continue Joint Task Group on First Nations Health

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2010) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today renewed the mandate of a joint Task Group to further improve the effectiveness of First Nations health services.

"The renewal of the Task Group mandate will reinforce the foundation we have already built to improve health services for First Nations," Minister Aglukkaq said at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau, Quebec. The work will also promote physical activity and sport in communities, addressing some of the social factors that influence health, the minister added.

The Task Group, which is expected to begin its 16-month work plan in January 2011, brings together Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the AFN. Its work plan in Phase Two will include the development of a collaborative approach to tackle the following priority areas:

  • social determinants of health;

  • multi-jurisdictional and integration agreements;

  • analysis of cost drivers for health programming, including Non-Insured Health Benefits;

  • review of continuing mental health and addictions needs including a focus on mental health needs related to the IRS settlement agreement. 

"Supporting and promoting healthy First Nation communities is in all our interests because strong First Nations make a stronger Canada," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "First Nation citizens must be healthy to lead and develop healthy and effective communities. When we talk about health we must talk about education, economic opportunities, culture and language, good housing, good government and the ability for individuals, communities and nations to feel in control of their lives and their futures."

Work on Phase One, which began in 2006, helped prepare the way for the collective and successful response to last year's H1N1 health crisis. The Phase One work plan also laid a foundation for the Patient Wait Times Guarantee pilot project involving diabetes screening and prenatal care.

"Our collaboration on this important Task Group work reinforces all of our efforts to improve health outcomes for First Nations," said Minister Aglukkaq.

Task Group membership is as follows:

Assembly of First Nations:

  • Chief Executive Officer (Co-chair)

  • Senior Director of Health and Social

  • Representative from the Office of the National Chief

Health Canada:

  • Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (Co-chair)

  • Representative from the Office of the Minister of Health

Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • Associate Deputy Minister

  • Senior Assistant Deputy Minister (Programs)

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Jenny Van Alstyne
    Public Enquiries: