The federal government has in the past defined involvement in Indigenous health at the federal or provincial/territorial level: “The federal government provides some health services to First Nations on reserve and Inuit, including public health activities, health promotion and the detection and mitigation of hazards to health in the environment” (Health Canada, 2005, p.3).

“The majority of health services available to Inuit, Métis, non-status Indians and status Indians living away from communities are provided by the provinces and territories in the same manner that services are available to all citizens. Some provinces/territories provide innovative, culturally-specific programs and services to meet the particular health needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis” (Health Canada, 2005, p.7).

In 2017, the federal government embarked on an important restructuration. Indigenous Services Canada was co-created with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada from what was formerly Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. It collaborates with partners in linking First Nations, Inuit and Metis with high quality services (Indigenous Services Canada, 2013, 2018, 2019). As of 2019, the process of transitioning previous programs to Indigenous Services Canada is in progress.


At the provincial level, “Manitoba Indigenous and Northern Relations is focused on supporting healthy, safe and sustainable Indigenous communities” (Government of Manitoba, n.d.-a). Furthermore, within Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, a newly formed section is dedicated to Intergovernmental Strategic Relations, which includes relations with Indigenous nations.

In 2018, the Government of Manitoba created Shared Health Manitoba with a mandate focused on service delivery. Shared Health envisions a healthcare system that “respect[s] the cultural practices and care needs of Manitoba's Indigenous populations” (Shared Health Manitoba, 2019).

In addition, three Indigenous organizations are in place in Manitoba.

Firstly, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) was formed in 1987 to act as an advocate on issues that commonly affected all of the First Nations of Manitoba (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, 2018a).

The AMC approved the creation of the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) in 2013, to focus on health and social development functions previously under the leadership of AMC. FNHSSM works “to address and prioritize First Nation health issues, discussion of potential governance structures, unification of First Nations in Manitoba and networking opportunities” (FNHSSM, 2019a).

“The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC)/Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Patient Advocate Unit supports [First Nations] people by advocating, developing partnerships and bridging services through effective service coordination to ensure quality services for all First Nations people. This partnership with AMC and WRHA is imperative to ensure the medical needs of First Nation people are met and their medical issues are addressed in a timely and meaningful way as each year the number of clients continues to grow” (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, 2018b).

“The Intergovernmental Committee on Manitoba First Nations Health (ICMFNH) is the first step for federal, provincial and First Nation governments to work collaboratively to address First Nation health priorities. The goal of the ICMFNH is to address key issues affecting the health and well-being of First Nations citizens. The ICMFNH works to achieve this goal through developing innovative and sustainable strategies and solutions to ensure equity of health outcomes comparable to that of other Canadians” (FNHSSM, 2019b).

Secondly, the Manitoba Metis Federation “is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Metis Nation's Manitoba Metis Community. The MMF promotes the political, social, cultural, and economic interests and rights of the Metis in Manitoba. In addition, the MMF delivers programs and services to [the] community including: child and family services, justice, housing, youth, education, human resources, economic development and natural resources” (Manitoba Metis Federation, 2019).

Finally, the Manitoba Inuit Association was created to enhance “the lives of Inuit in Manitoba by promoting Inuit values, community and culture while connecting to services that meet [Inuit] evolving needs” (Manitoba Inuit Association, 2019).


Manitoba has five regional health authorities: Winnipeg, Interlake-Eastern, Prairie Mountain, Southern and Northern (Government of Manitoba, n.d.-b).

Indian Bands (First Nations) are recognized in a legal sense in the Regional Health Authorities Act where it is indicated that health authorities can reach agreements with Indian Bands. “The minister may enter into agreements for … (c) an Indian Band, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council” (Regional Health Authorities Act, 1996, Section 5.1). Indian Bands are also called on to help develop regional health plans, as established in the Regional Health Authorities Act: “In the course of preparing a proposed regional health plan, the regional health authority shall consult with such persons, including municipalities, Indian Bands, and government departments and agencies, as the regional health authority considers appropriate” (Regional Health Authorities Act, 1996, Section 24.2).

A federally-funded First Nation Health Authority also exists (Four Arrows Regional Health Authority). This Authority is not subject to the Regional Health Authorities Act. Programs provided, which focus on public health, “were previously under the direction of the First Nations & Inuit Health Branch” (Four Arrows Regional Health Authority, 2011).

  1. Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. (2018a). Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the MIB Early Beginnings. Retrieved from:

  2. Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. (2018b). Patient Advocate Unit. Retrieved from:

  3. FNHSSM. (2019a). Nanaandawewigamig is our Spirit Name. Retrieved from:

  4. FNHSSM. (2019b). Intergovernmental Committee on Manitoba First Nation Health. Retrieved from:

  5. Four Arrows Regional Health Authority. (2011). Public Health. Retrieved from:

  6. Government of Manitoba. (n.d.-a). Indigenous and Northern Relations. Retrieved from:

  7. Government of Manitoba. (n.d.-b). Regional Health Authorities in Manitoba. Retrieved from:

  8. Health Canada. (2005). Blueprint on Aboriginal Health. A 10-year Transformative Plan. Retrieved from:

  9. Indigenous Services Canada. (2013). First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Retrieved from:

  10. Indigenous Services Canada. (2018). Indigenous Services Canada - Departmental Plan 2018-2019. Retrieved from:

  11. Indigenous Services Canada. (2019). Indigenous Services Canada. Retrieved from:

  12. Manitoba Inuit Association. (2019). About. Retrieved from:

  13. Manitoba Metis Federation. (2019). About the MMF. Retrieved from:

  14. Regional Health Authorities Act. 1996. Retrieved from:

  15. Shared Health Manitoba. (2019). Vision, Mission and Values.
    Retrieved from: