The Institute is uniquely positioned to facilitate government partnership and engagement to develop sustainable health solutions.
Earl Nowgesic Presents at Senate Open Caucus
On November 16, 2016, Interim Director Earl Nowgesic presented at Senate Open Caucus on Renewing the Health Accord, an event that was sponsored by the Senate Liberals. His presentation, Indigenous (Aboriginal) Health Care in Canada: Engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit Populations in Building a Renewed Health Accord, outlined the health inequities experienced by Indigenous people in Canada, offered suggestions for developing a renewed health accord and pointed to CIHR’s exemplary practices of Indigenous community engagement.
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
On February 10, 2016 Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) invited WBIIH’s Community Advisory Council to participate in the MCYS Indigenous Advisory Circle, which advises the MCYS staff on Indigenous cultural competency training.
Federal Liberal Government Commitment
On November 13, 2015, the federal government released the Ministerial Mandate Letters which outlined the Prime Minister’s commitment to engagement with Indigenous Peoples, their health and wellbeing:
“Improved partnerships with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments are essential to deliver the real, positive change that we promised Canadians. No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership,”
Further mandate to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, an alumna of the University of Toronto: “…your overarching goal will be to renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples. This renewal must be a nation-to-nation relationship, based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.”
At the Institute’s naming ceremony on March 23, 2015, former Prime Minister the Honourable Paul Martin gave an endorsement welcome video welcome, followed by remarks by Ontario’s Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development the Honourable David Zimmer.
Carolyn Bennett, former Minister of State of Public Health and now federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs also attended. Bennett is also a U of T alumna.
Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, also attended given his relationship with our founding benefactor, Dr. Michael Dan.
Following the naming ceremony, Hon. Carolyn Bennett (MP St. Paul’s, Lib) rose in the House of Commons on March 31, 2015, to pay tribute to Michael and Amira Dan’s gift.