Métis Nation BC and Vancouver Coastal Health sign Letter of Understanding

Indigenous Peoples have a rich history and culture of medicine and healing traditions. We value and strive to integrate them into health systems to meet the specific needs of each Nation or community. We are excited to work together with Indigenous communities and partner organizations to help build more inclusive and impactful care.

With great honour and humility, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tla’amin First Nation. At least seven Nations within the VCH region have expressed interest in doing the same. We also celebrated the signing of a Letter of Understanding (LOU) with the Métis Nation of British Columbia, a significant milestone in our journey to providing a distinctions-based approach to health services for Métis people in our region.

Our LOU and MOUs reflect the natural progression of our existing connections with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, and our commitment to reconciliation and upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples. They ground us with guiding principles and identify mutual priorities, defining our approach to advancing health care in each community. This establishes a consistent, coordinated and deliberate approach to our partnerships. As our partnerships evolve with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities we serve, opportunities for meaningful collaboration and shared-decision making will further enable Indigenous Peoples to perform critical roles regarding the design and delivery of health services for their communities.

“We will continue to learn from First Nations partners as they guide us in addressing health inequities which exist for many Indigenous communities today. Our dedication to this is a part of our ongoing journey towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.”

– Vivian Eliopoulos, President and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health

We are also growing our diverse network of partners to increase culturally safe care options for Indigenous clients.

Last year, we established a partnership with Sheway to help provide anti-racist, trauma-informed, culturally safe care for Indigenous people who are pregnant that use substances and live in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. More than two-thirds of the clients accessing services at Sheway identify as Indigenous. We will continue to collaborate with Sheway to add Indigenous art and culture, Indigenous-informed programming and team members to enhance the experiences and support available to children and families. To us, it is essential that every Indigenous community member feels safe and welcome when they seek care or support.

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