Where We’ve Been 

January 2020

“Measure what you value, and people will value what you measure.” – Terry Cross

On January 14-16th, the First Nations Health Council hosted the 2020 Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey X in Vancouver, BC. Gathering Wisdom is an opportunity for First Nation leaders and communities to engage in discussions around health and wellness. NICWA’s founder and senior advisor, Terry Cross, attended and presented on the First Nations Health Council Mental Health and Wellness Reporting Framework that a team of NICWA staff have been working on for the past nine months.

What is First Nations Health Council?

First Nations Health Council (FNHC) was established in 2007 as a political and advocacy organization to provide a First Nations governance structure at the provincial level to organize and implement First Nations voice and responsibilities in the transformation of First Nations health in British Columbia. Since 2015 FNHC has been engaging with First Nations in BC on the social determinants of health and have designated mental health and wellness a top priority. As a result of their advocacy, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2018 with Canada, and the Province of BC, providing First Nation communities the flexibility to design and deliver mental health and wellness services in ways that work for them.

Community Engagement with First Nations Communities

In March 2019, we began to assist in the process of engaging First Nations communities to define the outcomes that are important to them. Because we believe mental health services should be community-based, designed and delivered by and for local people, we spent nine months holding community engagement activities with First Nations across BC and preparing a report recommending what and how to measure community defined outcomes for mental health and wellness. After submitting our final report in December, we were excited to attend the Gathering Wisdom conference to share our findings and to celebrate regional and provincial successes of First Nations health and wellness. Four outcomes were prioritized for measurement, connection to culture, connection to people, connection to the land, and feeling safe. In addition, NICWA provided FNHC with methodology for measuring these and five optional measures prioritized in the project. FNHC plans to share the report in a formal publication in 2020.

To learn more about where we’ve been, you can read more at www.nicwa.org/latest-news/.