After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Historic deal signed, B.C. First Nations to have own health care system

A historic health care deal has been signed between B.C. First Nations, federal and provincial governments.

The agreement will transfer responsibility to the First Nations Health Authority to develop programs, incorporate cultural values and beliefs and manage their own system of care.

The Canadian Press has the story:

VANCOUVER - First Nations in British Columbia are taking over their own health system in a first-of-its-kind partnership between aboriginals, and the federal and provincial governments.

The landmark legal agreement will see B.C. First Nations play a major role in planning and managing their own health programs and incorporating cultural beliefs and values into the system.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who was in Vancouver for the announcement, says the agreement will help streamline administration and encourage the integration of health services for First Nations.

Grand Chief Doug Kelly, the chairman of the First Nation Health Council, predicts the new approach will see remarkable improvements in the health and well-being of First Nations in B.C. within a generation.

Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn Atleo says the agreement allows First Nations to take a step forward by taking back responsibility for heir own lives and for their own communities.

The transfer of federal funding will mean about $380 million dollars a year going to the First Nations Health Authority and the B.C. government has agreed to provide more than $83 million as part of the commitment to the agreement.

More in Canada

The joy of giving

Science is now providing the evidence for what we have long held to be true: that it is better to give than to receive.

Amazing photos of September in Vancouver

Take a look back at September captured through the lenses of our VO Flickr Pool contributors.

A young Iranian helps Syrian refugees adjust to Canada

A young Iranian, himself, new to Canada reaches out to help Syrian refugees settle here. But with the war in Syria, tensions between Iranians and Syrians are rising. How will he succeed?
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.