Nova Scotia is committed to improving health outcomes of all Mi'kmaq and other Aboriginal Peoples living in Nova Scotia, and is working closely with our First Nations and Aboriginal partners. The Department of Health and Wellness participates on the Health Working Group of the Tripartite Forum. More information on the Tripartite Forum is available at www.tripartiteforum.com.
The federal government established the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund in 2004; it will conclude March 31, 2010. One of the key objectives of the fund is to help provincial and territorial governments adapt and integrate existing health services to better meet the unique health needs of Aboriginal People.
Nova Scotia has signed a Contribution Agreement with Health Canada to undertake several projects funded under the Adaptation stream of the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund:
- Aboriginal Health Awareness Project: The Native Council of Nova Scotia will conduct a health needs assessment of all Mi'kmaq People and other Aboriginal Peoples living off-reserve in Nova Scotia. The data will be compiled and used to assist the Department of Health and Wellness and nine district health authorities in program and service delivery planning to improve accessibility to off-reserve Mi'kmaq People and other Aboriginal Peoples living in Nova Scotia.
- Mental Health and Addictions Prevention and Promotion Initiative: The Colchester East Hants Health Authority, in partnership with Indian Brook and Millbrook First Nations, will provide a forum to customize, deliver and evaluate a Prevention and Promotion model of Mental Health and Addictions service and treatment in First Nations communities.
- The Path Less Traveled: This program will adapt patient navigation tools and strengthen local capacity to support patients and their families to improve the experience of Aboriginal patients in the health-care system. Potlotek (Chapel Island) First Nation, in collaboration with the four other First Nations communities in Cape Breton (Eskasoni, Membertou, Wagmatcook and We'koqma'q) will participate in partnership with the Guysborough Antigonish Strait District Health Authority, the Cape Breton District Health Authority, Cancer Care Nova Scotia and the Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia.
- Aboriginal Health Policy Framework: The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, in partnership with First Nations and Aboriginal partners, and other relevant federal and provincial departments and agencies, will develop an Aboriginal Health Policy Framework that will outline approaches in the key areas of:
- Aboriginal Health Policy lens to ensure barriers to access of care are identified and mitigated.
- Conflict resolution processes to address issues of roles and responsibilities.