The Okanagan Nation has an undeniable sovereign responsibility and mandate to ensure the cultural integrity, safety, and well-being of all Aboriginal children, families and community members living within the Okanagan territory. The Syilx People maintain our Indigenous way of knowing about Wellness. This holistic approach includes an understanding that the physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional wellbeing of the individual, family, and community are interconnected. In this work, we have formed relationships with important partners to move forward together, such as the First Nations Health Authority, the Interior Health Authority, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
FIRST NATIONS HEALTH AUTHORITY
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is a health service delivery organization responsible for administering a variety of health programs and service for First Nations People living in BC. The First Nations Health Authority emerged from a number of tripartite agreements between BC First Nations, the Province of BC, and the Government of Canada, and is the first province-wide First Nations Health Authority in Canada.
The ONA partners with the FNHA to plan, design, manage and fund the delivery of health programs and services in a manner that best suites the needs of our Nation.
INTERIOR HEALTH AUTHORITY
On June 13th 2012, the ONA signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) with Interior Health Authority to protect the inherent rights to quality healthcare and services for the Syilx People. The LOU is a commitment for engagement: planning, collaboration, consultation & partnerships, and for improved health outcomes through shared decision-making, and increased access to services. The table meets quarterly to see action on Syilx health priorities.
MINISTRY OF CHILD AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT (MCFD)
The ONA continues to work closely with MCFD with the purpose of coordinating effective services for our at-risk children and families. However, as clearly outlined in the Syilx Child and Family Plan, the ONA wishes this relationship to evolve and provide for more autonomy in caring for our most vulnerable children and families in a culturally-appropriate way.
ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT CANADA
There are a small number of programs and services at the federal level that are available to our Nation’s communities. Such programs include family violence, child welfare and Aboriginal early childhood development. The ONA looks to create a coordinated, effective and efficient strategy to best utilize these resources to ensure that our communities are able to access appropriate services.
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OKANAGAN (UBCO)
Wellness partnerships with UBCO have allowed for co-planning on research and development ideas. Cultural Safety has been a priority within wellness and the ONA is partnering with UBCO on Cultural Safety tools and piloting such tools. For all research initiatives, the ONA implements the principles of O.C.A.P.