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Newfoundland and Labrador

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.

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Provincial
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In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Department of Health and Community Services “provides a lead role in policy, planning, program development, and support to the four regional health authorities and other mandated health and community service agencies. The department also monitors and provides feedback as appropriate to the regional health authorities and agencies with respect to program implementation, accountability issues and health and community outcomes” (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2018a). The Department lists Aboriginal health topics (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2019a).
Service delivery, including public health, is provided by the four regional health authorities (Eastern, Southern, Western and Northern Health). Of these, only Eastern Health lists an Indigenous-specific program, the Aboriginal Patient Navigator (APN) Program, in existence since 2009 (Eastern Health, 2017). 

Since February 2017, “[t]he Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs Secretariat has been established …, to build intergovernmental relations with efforts to advance relationships with Indigenous Governments and Organizations” (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2019b). In addition, the Secretariat oversees the application of the Aboriginal Consultation Policy which applies to decisions on land and resources (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2013). 

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Regional
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Three regional Indigenous organizations exist in Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
The Mi'kmaq First Nation Assembly of Newfoundland was created “to be a single voice to promote and develop the awareness of the Mi'Kmaq of Newfoundland” (Mi'kmaq First Nation Assembly of Newfoundland, n.d.).

 The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) is a Quebec-based non-profit organization created “[t]o ensure that the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador freely exercise their inherent right to control health and social services program delivery to the citizens of their respective nations;… [and to] be a technical advisor and consultant for First Nations communities and the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador in the area of health and social services (AFNQL)”  (First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services, 2015).

The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which was signed by Canada, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Inuit communities in Labrador, sets out details of land ownership, resource sharing and self-government. “The self-government provisions of the Agreement provide for the creation of the Nunatsiavut Government, five Inuit community governments and Inuit community corporations to represent Inuit living outside the Settlement Area” (Canada, 2005). “The Nunatsiavut Government is an Inuit regional government. Although Nunatsiavut remains part of Newfoundland and Labrador, the government has authority over many central governance areas including health, education, culture and language, justice and community matters” (Nunatsiavut Government, 2019).

The Newfoundland and Labrador Health and Community Services Act specifies the responsibilities of the province's public health actors and indicates how this Act is to be applied in conjunction with Aboriginal self-government agreements. Thus, the Act states that “[this] Act and the regulations made under this Act shall be read and applied in conjunction with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act and, where a provision of this Act or regulations made under this Act is inconsistent or conflicts with a provision, term or condition of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, the provision, term or condition of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act shall have precedence over the provision of this Act” (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2018b).

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References
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  1. Canada. (2005). Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. Retrieved from: http://www.nunatsiavut.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Labrador-Inuit-Land-Claims-Agreement.pdf

  2. Eastern Health. (2017). Aboriginal Health. Retrieved from: http://www.easternhealth.ca/OurServices.aspx?d=1&id=2426&p=74

  3. First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission. (2015). About the FNQLHSSC. Retrieved from: http://www.cssspnql.com/en/about-us

  4. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2013). The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Aboriginal Consultation Policy on Land and Resource Development Decisions (“The Policy”). Available at: http://www.gov.nl.ca/iias/wp-content/uploads/aboriginal_consultation.pdf

  5. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2018a). Department of Health and Community Services. Retrieved from: https://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/department/index.html

  6. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2018b). Health and Community Services Act, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, SNL 1995, Chapter P-37.1. Retrieved from: http://assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/p37-1.htm

  7. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2019a). Aboriginal Health. Retrieved from: https://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/aboriginalhealth/index.html

  8. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2019b). Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs Secretariat. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.nl.ca/iias/

  9. Health Canada. (2005). Blueprint on Aboriginal Health. A 10-year Transformative Plan. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/health-system-services/blueprint-aboriginal-health-10-year-transformative-plan.html

  10. Indigenous Services Canada. (2013). First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/corporate/first-nations-inuit-health-branch.html

  11. Indigenous Services Canada. (2018). Indigenous Services Canada - Departmental Plan 2018-2019. Retrieved from: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1523374573623/1523904791460

  12. Indigenous Services Canada. (2019). Indigenous Services Canada. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada.html

  13. Mi'kmaq First Nation Assembly of Newfoundland. (n.d.). Mission & Mandate. Retrieved from: http://www.mfnan.org/?page_id=310

  14. Nunatsiavut Government. (2019). About Nunatsiavut Government. Retrieved from: http://www.nunatsiavut.com/government/about-nunatsiavut-government/

 

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