Regional Health Governance Caucuses
The First Nations Health Council health governance process is an inclusive one that seeks to involve BC First Nations through regional-level caucuses that correspond to each of British Columbia’s five Health Regions.
The Regional Health Governance Caucuses form a key part of the health governance process, carrying information from the communities to the Provincial level and vice versa. The creation of a responsive and transparent health governance structure relies upon these Regional Caucuses. At the regional level Nations bring together their concerns and issues and strive to develop common approaches to bring to the Health Council.
Regional Caucuses form the backbone of the movement to reform health governance for BC First Nations, providing the First Nations leaders to the collective body (Health Council) and direction on what form health governance will take. First Nations in each region are responsible for appointing representatives to the Caucus, choosing representatives from the Caucus to sit on the Health Council, and to create a nation-based, community-driven process that works for that region.
Changes to the structure of the Health Council, as mandated by resolutions at the First Nations Summit (FNS Resolution #0310.03) and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC Resolution no. 2010-01), put responsibility in the hands of Regional Caucuses to choose the members of the Health Council. The selection process is largely complete, with thirteen of the fifteen council positions filled. The Regional Caucuses provide an opportunity for BC First Nations to come together with their neighbouring nations to create a responsive and collective approach to health.
The First Nations Health Council provides resources to cover meeting costs, has hired Regional Health Governance Liaisons to support the work of the Caucus, provides information and seeks input at the Regional Health Governance Caucus level.
Regional Health Governance Caucus Role in the Development of First Nations Health Governance
Regional Caucuses have been actively involved in the recent Health Council transition. There have been many Regional Caucus sessions held since 2008. Business at caucus meetings has included selecting representatives to the health council, reviewing issues and providing direction in the fast-evolving health governance reforms.
The Health Council members are appointed through the Regional Caucuses, and derive their authority through these forums. Extensive meetings have been held in all regions, and have included engagement, information updates, and discussions regarding health and process issues. The Health Council has utilized the Regional Caucuses as one of the main venues for distributing information updates and for engagement in discussion regarding developments in health governance.
Regional Health Governance Caucus Support from the FNHA
The First Nations Health Authority provides support to the Regional Health Governance Caucuses in a variety of ways:
- Health Governance Team – Heather Squire is the Executive Lead for Health Governance and has been working diligently to provide support to the FNHA and the Regional Caucus sessions. Her team of Regional Health Governance Liaisons, hired in late 2010, provides assistance in arranging meetings, supporting the work of the FNHC Representatives and the Regional Caucus members in their meetings and communications.
- Communications Support– The First Nations Health Authority Communications team has supported the Regional Caucuses by providing information and communications materials both at meetings and through other avenues (for example – the fnhc.ca website, FNS and UBCIC meetings, Infobulletin).
- Funding from the First Nations Health Authority– The FNHA provides funding support to each of the Health Governance Caucuses. Funding is provided to cover meeting expenses, travel and some administration.
Regional Caucuses and Health Partnership Workbook
The First Nations Health Council is seeking input and advice from BC First Nations – Chiefs, leaders, senior health professionals and others in the development of a consensus on health governance. The result of more than two years of discussion and work with First Nations leaders, a consensus on health care delivery to First Nations is beginning to emerge. The Health Council is seeking input advice and direction from BC First Nations (Leaders, Chiefs, Senior First Nations health professionals and community members) to further refine this vision. To do so they have produced a workbook (titled - Your Voice – Health Partnership Workbook for BC First Nations) that will be presented in upcoming Regional Caucus meetings across British Columbia. This is the opportunity for First Nations to come together to express a collective vision for the future of health governance for our people and the evolving relationships with governments and Regional Health Authorities.
The workbook summarises feedback that the Health Council has received from extensive meetings with BC First Nations and provides a draft vision for First Nations health governance. The workbook will be used in upcoming Regional Caucus sessions, as well as through other meetings.
The Health Partnership Workbook summarizes the extensive discussions held at regional caucus meetings over the past few years, and asks First Nations to confirm what we have heard from you. It summarizes the feedback that we have gathered that this specific to the First Nations Health Authority, First Nations Health Council and First Nations Health Directors Association and asks, “Did we capture what you have said?” “Is there anything missing?”
The review and feedback on this draft vision will be used to create a consensus document that will provide a vision and, provided it is approved by First Nations at this year’s Gathering Wisdom Forum become the mandate for continuing negotiations.