The First Nation’s Health Authority’s vision is healthy, self-determining and vibrant First Nations children, families and communities in BC. The FNHA also aims to reform the way health care is delivered to First Nations in BC, reduce health disparities and improve health and well-being. To that end, the organization provides health programs and services throughout the province to all First Nations communities. The FNHA works with with BC First Nations, government partners and others to improve health outcomes for BC First Nations people and provide trauma-informed care. The organization also supports data sovereignty and self-determination in the area of health research and is committed to system-wide change, as well as supporting a collective health systems’ goal of culturally safe research and health services for First Nations and Indigenous people in BC.
The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) provides umbrella services and provincial supports to the 25 Friendship Centres in British Columbia. Friendship Centres provide services to Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) living in urban settings and hold space for all members of the community to celebrate culture, share knowledge, and connect with others. With a focus on health and wellness, one of the BCAAFC goals is to help people create a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle by building a supportive network of health and wellness initiatives that acknowledge the diverse needs of the population.
Métis Nation British Columbia develops and enhances opportunities for Métis Chartered Communities and Métis people in British Columbia by providing culturally relevant social and economic programs and services. Recognized by the Métis National Council, the Provincial Government of British Columbia and the Federal Government of Canada, the MNBC is the official governing body of the Métis in BC, representing almost 90,000 self-identified Métis people in British Columbia; of that, almost 17,000 are provincially registered Métis Citizens with MNBC. The MNBC Ministry of Health is committed to enhancing Métis wellness and has developed a responsive Five-Year Plan, which was informed by Métis Chartered Communities through community consultation processes.
Each of the six non-Indigenous BC Health Authorities has dedicated Indigenous Health departments and programs and an Indigenous or Aboriginal Health Lead, Director or Advisor, as well as dedicated research departments and teams. The Indigenous Health Leads, Directors, and Advisors within each Health Authority play a key role in providing leadership and support for Indigenous health and wellness initiatives, policy development, and strategic planning. Each of the six Health Authorities has also identified cultural safety and Indigenous health and wellness as priorities and in July of 2015, all Health Authority CEO’s signed a “Declaration of Commitment […] to advancing cultural humility and cultural safety within health services” (First Nations Health Authority, 2015).
The IMN-PN is a network of Indigenous and allied researchers, academics, professionals and communities who support Indigenous students and research trainees across British Columbia and the Yukon to engage in community-based health and wellness research. Some of the activities include: facilitate academic, professional and community mentorship opportunities; offer trainee research and travel awards; provide experiential and other learning activities; and support local, national and international student networking.