Wabano and Montfort partner to create equitable and inclusive health care for the Indigenous population

Press Release

Collaboration to address the gaps in access to health care services tailored to the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities .

Ottawa, November 1, 2021 – It is with honour but mostly humility that Hôpital Montfort has signed an agreement with Wabano to receive guidance on addressing the challenges that prevent Indigenous people from accessing or receiving the best health care services at Montfort.

With the signing of a memorandum of understanding, both organizations agree to make concerted efforts to:

  • mutually identify gaps in access to health services of the Indigenous population within the Ottawa region;
  • provide a mechanism for both parties to discuss and address sensitive and critical issues faced by the Indigenous population;
  • recognize, respect, and address the distinct health needs and indicators of the Indigenous population such as mental health, suicide, addictions, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, and the availability of appropriate health services; and
  • create a more equitable and inclusive health care system by closing the gaps in social and health outcomes of the Indigenous population.

“We recognize the importance of providing a welcoming environment and a good experience for Indigenous people receiving care and services at Montfort, and in the last few years, we have been increasingly collaborating with the Wabano Centre for guidance in developing services that better meet the needs of the Indigenous community and this agreement formalizes this collaboration,” says Dr. Bernard Leduc, CEO of Montfort. “We realize that we can, and must, do better to address racism and discrimination within our organization and to understand the needs of our patients from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities so that we can work towards developing and offering services that are culturally appropriate.”

As the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health Services, Wabano will guide and support Montfort to create a safe and welcoming environment and become the hospital of choice for Indigenous people.

Wabano’s partnership with Hôpital Montfort is not just beginning with the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding. Wabano has had a long history of working collaboratively with Montfort.

“Over the past two decades we have regularly heard from Indigenous people in the city about their negative experiences with hospitals, “ says Allison Fisher, Executive Director at Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. “Addressing racism and discrimination in hospitals must be a priority and must come from leadership. It must be a commitment and it must lead to action. Most importantly, Indigenous people must be provided with kind and competent care. We sign this agreement with hope that it is the charge that will ignite and create the change.”

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, for Canada to flourish in the twenty-first century, reconciliation between Canadians and the Indigenous peoples must be based on principles of undertaking constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.

About Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Wabano Centre is an award-winning, accredited, and internationally recognized Aboriginal Health Access Centre with over 20 years of experience. Wabano Centre is seen as a leader and innovator in community-based, holistic health care, bridging Indigenous cultural practices with Western medicine to combat poverty and promote wellness in Ottawa’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

About Hôpital Montfort

Montfort is Ontario’s Francophone Academic Hospital, offering exemplary person-centred care. The hospital serves over 1.2 million people in Eastern Ontario in both official languages. In 2018,  Montfort was awarded  Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada and was designated Best Practices Spotlight Organization by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. With its partners, the University of Ottawa and La Cité college, and other post-secondary programs, Montfort is preparing the next generation of Francophone healthcare professionals.


Dr. Bernard Leduc and Allison Fisher with painting from Mohawk artist Lee Claremont titled “New Beginnings” which will be placed with pride in Montfort’s Family Birthing Centre.

For information and interviews:

Communications Services, Hôpital Montfort
613-746-4621, ext. 2049


NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More