Health in the Northwest Territories: Trilateral Meeting Held in Yellowknife

Press Release

Yellowknife (Februa y 13, 2024) – Indigenous leaders, Premier R.J. Simpson,

Minister Lesa Semmler of Health and Social Services, Mark Holland, Minister of

Health Canada and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada and

Member of Parliament Michael McLeod met in Yellowknife today.

The trilateral meeting was a commitment of the Government of Canada related to

“Working together to improve health care in Canada” and is part of ongoing

commitment amongst governments that serve the Northwest Territories, and in

particular Indigenous populations, to collaborate further.

Leaders discussed territory-wide health issues that are of priority concern and

Northern and Indigenous-led solutions that will improve access to health services

and equity in health outcomes for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis including Modern

Treaty holders and Self -Governing Indigenous governments. This included

implementation of the new bilateral health agreements, ongoing conversations

around Non-Insured Health Benefits including medical travel and dental care,

mental wellness, addictions recovery and community-based care. Leaders also

discussed health-related impacts related to climate change such as wildfire and


Leaders attending the meeting included:

Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik, Gwich’in Tribal Council (virtual)

Grand Chief Herb Norwegian, Dehcho First Nations

Grand Chief Wilbert Kochon, Sahtu Dene Council

Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty, Tłı̨chǫ Government

Chief Clifford Daniels, Tłı̨chǫ Government

Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, Tłı̨chǫ Government

Chief Adeline Football, Tłı̨chǫ Government

Chief Eugene Hope, Acho Dene Koe First Nation (virtual)

Chair Charles McNeely, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated

Ɂekw’ahtı̨dǝ́Danny Gaudet, Délı̨nę Got’ınę Government (virtual)

President Marc Whitford, North Slave Métis Alliance

Chief April Martel, Kátł’odeeche First Nation

Chief Steve Vital, Nahanni Butte Dene Band

Vice President Paul Harrington, Northwest Territory Métis Nation

Premier R.J. Simpson, Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs and

Minister of Justice, GNWT

Minister Lesa Semmler, Minister of Health and Social Services, GNWT

Minister Mark Holland, Health Canada

Minister Patty Hajdu, Indigenous Services of Canada (virtual)

Member of Parliament Michael McLeod

Delegates also attended from the following governments:

Evelyn Storr, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Patsy Schaefer, Co-Interim CEO, Salt River First Nation

Jennifer Drygeese, Health and Wellness Director, Yellowknives Dene First


For more information, contact:

Advisor/BandBoydClark Manager Acho Dene Koe First Nation 306-681-5171 Executive Director AkaitchonnieBouch

867-3934Territory-3313 Government

ChiefPaulinaExecutiveRoche Officer



867Gwich’in-777-Tribal7927 Council

CommunicationsElizabethKolb Advisor

867Inuvialuit-777-7055Regional Corporation

ActinglexGreslChief Executive Officer Kátł’odeeche First Nation 867-874-6701

Band Manager


Butte Dene Band

867-669 -0242 ext. 207


North Slave Métis Alliance 867-669-7442 ExecutiveUrsulaVogtDirector

Northwest Territory Métis Nation 867-872-2770


867Salt -River872-2986First Nation


867Sahtu-589Secretariat-4719 Incorporated



CommunicationsToddManager,SasakiPublicAffairs and

Government of the Northwest Territories 867-767-9168 ext. 15015 PressReemSecretaryShe

Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor PressChri topherSecretaryAoun

Office of the Honourable Mark Holland Minister of Health



NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More