A commitment to work together to improve Aboriginal Health outcomes and to ensure cultural safety across the health system has been renewed by the seven interior Nations and Interior Health.
The Partnership Accord was extended through 2024 after being resigned Wednesday.
“This is an important milestone on a long journey to culturally safe and equitable health care for our people,” Charlene Belleau, Secwepemc Nation Representative and Partnership Accord Leadership Table (PALT) Co-chair said in a news release.
“Our growing partnership with Interior Health is a key part of this process.”
Updates to the Partnership Accord according to the release included an acknowledgment of the federal and provincial government endorsements of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also lays out a series of shared objectives including implementing a holistic wellness approach, cultural safety, and delivering improved health and wellness outcomes for people in the Interior region.
“I am proud and honored to work in partnership with Interior First Nations as we continue to strengthen our relationships and work to have a positive, measurable impact on health and wellness outcomes for First Nations people,” Susan Brown, IH President and CEO said.
“I am personally committed to this work, and to cultural safety and cultural humility being embedded in all aspects of care across Interior Health. I am excited to see what else we can achieve together through continued collaboration in the years ahead.”
IH Board Chair and PALT Co-chair, Doug Cochrane added that the re-signing of the Partnership Accord is a formal acknowledgment of their partnership and shared purpose.
“We have come a long way in a short time,” Syilx Nation Representative, Allan Louis said.
“This progress is founded on the relationship built by PALT and Interior Health in the years prior to the first signing. Now, with renewal of the Partnership Accord, we continue to enhance this relationship. Our challenge now is to ensure equal access for all health services in a culturally appropriate way.”
Building on several key documents and agreements on First Nations’ Health, the Partnership Accord was originally signed in 2012.
(Editor’s Note: Listen to Interior Health Vice President of Population Health and Medical Health Officer, Dr. Trevor Corneil on the Partnership Accord in the audio file below.)