New MOU on health signed with Siksika Nation
Alberta’s government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Siksika Nation that supports work to improve health outcomes and services for Nation members.
Under the agreement, Siksika Nation and Alberta Health will work together to address and respond to gaps and issues with current health services, policies and programs.
“Alberta’s government is deeply committed to upholding the expectation that Alberta’s health-care system treats all patients with dignity and respect. By creating meaningful relationships and listening to our Indigenous partners, I am confident we can work collaboratively with Siksika Nation to ensure community members can access culturally appropriate health services where and when they need them, both on and off reserve.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
The MOU forges a strong relationship and partnership model between Alberta Health and Siksika Nation that will give the Nation increased control and access to quality health services, and an opportunity for government to explore innovative health services with a First Nation partner.
“A tremendous strength of Siksika Nation is its extensive and effective range of health services. This relationship agreement with Alberta Health will further empower Siksika Nation to deliver comprehensive programming and services that are holistic, community-based, and put the health and wellness needs of Siksikawa first. Today’s signing represents an important step forward in Siksika Nation’s relationship with Alberta Health as we endeavour together towards equitable health outcomes.”
Nioksskaistamik, Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation
The MOU is the first agreement in Alberta to include the use of the Blackfoot language. The agreement also acknowledges Siksika Nation Elder’s Guiding Principles and seeks to combat racism, and bring about positive and transformative change in health care for Siksika Nation.
- The MOU establishes a process for ongoing assessment of Siksika Nation health needs, issues, and identifies realistic activities to resolve them. This includes:
- Reviewing existing programs, policies and services, and measuring current demand against capacity.
- Developing action plans, which could include health-care infrastructure, programs, human resources and sustainability needs.
- Determining how to use available resources to achieve targeted health outcomes.
- The term of the MOU is for up to five years, after which it will be re-evaluated by all parties.
- Health-care funding for First Nations is provided by the federal government.
Editor’s note: Siksika Health Services’ Communications Team will provide quotes and photos that will be available on Siksika Nation’s social media sites and on the Siksika Health Website three hours following the MOU signing ceremony.