Regional AHTF Review Meeting

February 26, 2009 in Lac Beauport was the setting for the second meeting to review the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund for 2008-2009.

The Aboriginal Health Transition Fund (AHTF) is a five-year national initiative of the federal government introduced in 2005-2006. It consists essentially of using projects to devise new ways to integrate existing federal government programs and services with services offered by First Nations communities and organizations. Another goal involves tailoring existing programs and services offered by provincial and territorial governments to the realities and needs of First Nations members living in communities or off reserve. The initiative is divided into three envelopes to offer First Nations better access to health care and social services adapted to their culture and unique needs.Some forty participants attended this second meeting. Most were from First Nations of Quebec communities and organizations and managed projects approved by the Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux and Health Canada. Participants also included representatives from Health Canada, the Quebec Government’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission.

The meeting allowed participants to exchange information on the initiative underlying the program. Federal government representatives presented all projects approved to date. They also provided information on accountability requirements for the production of activities reports and financial statements.

Commission representatives presented projects approved and under their responsibility. Following is a list of these projects and details concerning their purpose and goals:

o National training program(adaptation envelope): the purpose of this project is to adapt certain modules of the Programme national de formation du Québec and offer them to health and social services managers and stakeholders of First Nations of Quebec communities not covered by agreement. This project is pending approval by Health Canada.

o Neighbouring communities(Pan-Canadian envelope): the purpose of this project is to ensure that members of FN have access to necessary health services in the official language of their choice and at the establishment nearest their home, regardless of their province of origin.

o Influenza pandemic(integration and adaptation envelope): The purpose of this project is to support communities in Quebec not covered by James Bay agreement regarding the risk of an influenza pandemic. The adapted version of the self-care guide intended for members of First Nations is under preparation. This project should also offer training on psychosocial aspects and ensure follow-up of recommendations tabled in the regional report, in particular the following:
– Supporting communities in the implementation of their community plans in the event of an influenza pandemic. These plans are aligned closely with contingency measures aimed at protecting members of First Nations in order that they gain access to adequate services if faced with an influenza pandemic.
– Working in close cooperation with the AFNQL and its affiliates to ensure linkage between contingency measure plans and pandemic plans.
– Developing a pandemic preparation plan in cooperation with the AFNQL and its commissions and regional organizations.
Working closely with partners, namely: Health Canada, DIAND, MSSS and Agencies/CSSS of Quebec’s health network.
– Hiring a resource person to ensure follow-up of work begun.

o Integration of telehealth in First Nations of Quebec communities (integration envelope): identify possibilities to integrate telehealth within First Nations communities and the provincial network.

o Improve and adapt detoxification services to the needs of First Nations (adaptation envelope): the purpose of this project is to take stock of the needs of First Nations in terms of detoxification. Under the terms of this project, the roster of services offered by the Quebec network will be collated to determine any differences between actual needs and what is available to First Nations.

o Nursing practice framework for First Nations of Quebec(integration envelope): the purpose is to sign collaborative procedures and agreements to establish a structure to oversee nursing practices from a legal standpoint and supervise nursing staff working in First Nations of Quebec communities. This project is pending approval by Health Canada.

o Development of a framework for mental health services in First Nations of Quebec communities (adaptation and integration envelope): the main goal of this project is to propose, validate and test an organizational model for mental health services for 27 First Nations of Quebec communities. Its purpose will be to increase access to, and continuity of, first-, second- and third-line services available.

In addition to the Commission’s projects, some thirty projects were also presented under the terms of the AHTF for 2009-2010. Most of these projects were approved by Health Canada and involve about 25 communities in Quebec. These local projects are or will be managed by their beneficiary organizations and communities.

Participants in this meeting recommend that Health Canada hold a regional training session during the next fiscal year. The training session should specifically address the activities reports and financial statements required under accountability rules.

All documents distributed during this meeting are now available on the FNQLHSSC website at:

Information to come:

We are awaiting confirmation from Health Canada regarding financing for certain Commission and community projects. We are also waiting for Treasury Board to take position regarding the prolongation of the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund (AHTF) in order to ensure the continuity of services for 2010-2011 based, of course, on financing already granted.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

Ernest Awashish
AHTF Program Officer
(419-842-1540 Ext. 271.

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