NAN Supports Mushkegowuk Leaders Shut Out of Federal/Provincial Meeting on Health Funding

Press Release

February 7, 2023

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Derek Fox expressed support for Grand Chief Alison Linklater and the Mushkegowuk Council of Chiefs rallying in Ottawa today to defend their Treaty right to equitable health-care.

“Our leaders are extremely disappointed that they have been shut out of today’s discussions between federal and provincial leaders. I fully support the position of Grand Chief Linklater and the Mushkegowuk Chiefs. Meaningful progress to address the inequities in health-care for our people cannot be made without true collaboration at federal level meetings,” said Grand Chief Derek Fox during a press conference in Thunder Bay. “Decisions about our communities cannot be made behind closed doors. The best way forward is for our leaders to be engaged as partners to make decisions over who delivers health-care services, and how health-care services are delivered in their communities.”

Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Linklater and Chiefs held a press conference in Ottawa this morning after being denied a seat at the table when the Prime Minister meets with Premiers this afternoon.

“Every decision made in Toronto and Ottawa directly impacts NAN First Nations. We need to be part of those discussions, especially when it comes to funding formulas and structures,” said Alvin Fiddler, NAN’s Lead and Negotiator on Health Transformation. “The current system is drastically underfunded and is failing our people. Not being part of these conversions goes against our Treaties, the Charter of Relationship Principles Governing Health System Transformation in NAN Territory, and does not help us move forward on the path to reconciliation.”

NAN Chiefs declared a Health and Public Health Emergency in 2016 due to decades of perpetual crisis and persistent health care inequities. This came after a nursing station’s oxygen supply ran out, contributing to the tragic death of a NAN member. Seven years later, some communities are still running short of such basic supplies.

NAN signed the Charter with the federal and provincial governments in 2017 to develop and sustain a renewed relationship for transformative change to the existing heath system at the NAN community level.

NAN calls on the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario to honour the Charter and include NAN leadership in all discussions impacting the health and well-being of NAN citizens.

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790
[email protected]


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