Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario November 28th, 2017 – Chiefs from the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indian communities came together on Tuesday with community experts and specialists at Tyendinaga. The two-day session provided an opportunity to meet with Minister representatives, discuss portfolio updates, and implement health and social services projects.

Associate Deputy Minister Sharon Lee Smith of Ministry of Health and Long Term Care was in attendance on Health Transformation. On the same subject from Chiefs of Ontario was Pam Hunter and Lily Minominee-Batise. A prevalent issue is the current health system and structures that have failed to keep up with the needs of the indigenous people they were meant to take care of. What’s needed is a replacement in the process instead of a small band-aid solutions. Those gathered impressed upon the Associate Deputy Minister that First Nations needed to have more control over the design and delivery of their own health system. Others in attendance were representatives of the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change on water taking permits.

H/SAB Chair and Grand Chief Joel Abram stated, “Health and Social issues are so prevalent in terms of our people’s wellbeing, and the H/SAB is a very important tool to give our leadership including myself advice and guidance going forward on these issues. It also gives our member Nations a venue to come together to discuss issues of common concern in these areas to create a united front.”

Other areas covered is the upcoming recreational Cannabis Legalization, and the lack of long term care beds for Indigenous people. Today the meeting continues with implementation issues pertaining to the Jordan’s Principle, Mental Wellness, Social Services, and how attention can be brought to these areas.