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For immediate release
December 21, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM) have released statements following yesterday’s release of the pandemic-delayed report, Healthy Communities: A Role for Everyone, about social factors and their affects related to First Nations citizens contained in it:
MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee states:
“I acknowledge the 2022 Health Status of Manitobans Report that identifies health disparities among First Nation populations. For years, our leadership has communicated the realities of disparities that contribute to poorer health outcomes for First Nation people, as this is a daily reality for our citizens. Factors such as social, employment, housing, poverty, and Indigenous-specific racism continue to contribute to poorer health outcomes and shorter life expectancies for First Nations people. MKO has been working hard with stakeholders to improve and address these disparities. Our office looks forward to working with the Province on Clinical Preventative Service Planning and Manitoba’s Mental Health Roadmap so that these can be used as pathways to introduce and improve services for Northern First Nations citizens.
Earlier this year, MKO, in partnership with the Northern Health Region and Keewatinowi Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM), signed the Declaration to Eliminate All Forms of Indigenous-Specific Racism within the Northern Health Region. We continue to see reports that reaffirm our leadership’s continued calls for much needed equitable access to resources and supports for First Nations people. These types of reports will continue to be authored and will continue to worsen. We need to see action. We need to action the recommendations within these reports and address systemic racism throughout all systems. This work has begun, and MKO will continue to be at the table to collaborate with partners to improve health outcomes for our First Nation citizens.”
KIM Chief Executive Officer Dr. Barry Lavallee states:
“We have reviewed the 2022 Health Status of Manitobans Report and agree with the document, specifically where it outlines the disparities between First Nations and non-First Nation peoples. The report attempts to address racism and colonialism as founding factors of health disparities for First Nations, this preliminary analysis is important. Further works needs to explain indigenous specific racism and its impact on driving health disparities, poor access to health care and frequent manifestations of racial violence in health care are needed. The report will be helpful in developing our Health Transformation work and our Clinical Services Plan for First Nations and Northern people.”
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