Health Policy includes:

Mental wellness; life promotion; prevention and treatment of infectious and chronic diseases; behaviour that contribute to health and wellbeing; determinants of health; young people’s wellness and leadership.

Legislative and policy analysis and advice; communications, collaboration, and partnerships with First Nations, PTO’s, First Nations organizations, Canada and Ontario, research institutes, health services, academic institutions.

Mental Health
& Addiction

The First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework (FNMWC), launched on January 28 2015, is comprehensive of mental wellness services across a continuum and outlines opportunities to build on community strengths and control of resources in order to strengthen existing mental wellness programming for First Nation communities. The establishment of the FNMWC Implementation Team (IT) has been a key component to implementation of the framework from a social determinant of health approach. The team which is co-chaired by FNIHB, the AFN and an Indigenous mental health leader, is comprised of First Nation regional representatives and Indigenous organizations with a focus on mental health and addictions, alongside other key federal departments. The team supports the ongoing implementation of the framework, and ensures transition in the system to support the provision of culturally-based, culturally-relevant and effective mental wellness services to First Nations in the coming years.

Trilateral Health Senior Officials Committee

All Ontario Chiefs Assembly in June 2011 passed Resolution 11/38 directing OCCOH to establish TFNHSOC with the provincial and federal governments.

Supported by the Ontario government’s commitment to improving Ontario First Nations relations and health outcomes for First Nations people living on reserve, a meeting was held on November 24, 2010, between the Chair of Ontario Chiefs Committee on Health (OCCOH) on behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario (COO), Deputy Ministers (DMs) of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA), and Cabinet Office, Intergovernmental Affairs. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss opportunities to continue and strengthen government-to-government relations and to address First Nations health challenges; the parties agreed to focus on achieving progress on mutually identified priority areas (diabetes prevention and management, mental health and addictions, public health, and data collection/analysis).

It was further agreed that the Federal government be engaged as an active participant given its historical and continuing role with First Nations. Health Canada, representing the Federal government is committed to participate in a trilateral process with Ontario First Nations and the provincial government to improve health outcomes for First Nations, in a manner that is guided by the honour of the Crown.

These discussions have lead to the establishment of a Trilateral First Nations Health Senior Officials Committee (TFNHSOC) to work collaboratively in identifying and implementing practical measures on specific priority areas. COO maintains that: “First Nations have a right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and environmental) through their Inherent Rights including Treaty Rights” and aspires to the development and implementation of an Ontario-First Nations Health Accord. Notwithstanding this aspiration, the parties agree to continue and strengthen existing government-to-government relationships regarding First Nations health in Ontario. The parties (Ontario, Canada, and COO) agree to work collaboratively in identifying and implementing practical measures in specific areas over the short term to begin to address the health program and service gaps that exist while exploring ways to continue and strengthen the government-to-government relationship over time.

The parties agree that the TFNHSOC will develop approaches to protect and promote the health of First Nations people by:

  • undertaking targeted activities in the priority areas of mental health and addictions with a focus on prescription drug abuse; public health; diabetes prevention and management; and data collection and analysis;
  • collaboratively identifying health service gaps for First Nations people living on-reserve in relation to identified priority areas;
  • advancing the availability and effectiveness of services for and within First Nations communities in Ontario;
  • improving the integration and coordination of federally and provincially funded health services for First Nations communities in Ontario which focus on improving health outcomes;
  • providing practical recommendations on how to improve collaboration on federally and provincially funded health services in the identified priority areas for First Nations communities in Ontario ; and
  • exploring ways to continue and strengthen the government-to-government relationship between First Nations, Ontario and Canada.
  • attempt to address the unique geographical and socio-economic concerns of many First Nations communities in Ontario

Contact Health Policy

  • Tobi Mitchell – Director of Health –
  • Alice Longboat – Sr. Health Coordinator –
  • Bernadette deGonzague – Mental Health Policy Analyst –
  • Linda Ogilvie – Public Health Advisor –
  • Charnele Sondezi – Coordinator –
  • Lily Menominee-Batise – Sr. Health Advisor –
  • Megan Logan – Policy Analyst –