The Health Co-Management Committee
The Heath Co-Management Committee is the principle decision-making Committee between First Nations and the Government of Canada in Alberta. This bilateral Committee consists of two Chiefs from each Treaty area and two representatives from First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Because there is only one Co-Management Committee, but multiple funding streams and program areas, there are six subcommittees with knowledge experts to make decisions on behalf of and recommendations to Co-Management.
Currently, the co-chairs of the Health Co-Management Committee are Rhonda Laboucan, FNIHB-AB Regional Executive Officer, and Chief Ramona Horseman of Western Cree Tribal Council. Rhonda Laboucan is the Regional Executive Officer of First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Chief Ramona Horseman is the Chief of Horse Lake First Nation in Treaty 8 territory. She was elected in 2019 as co-chair of the Health Co-Management Committee by her peers and has been an advocate for First Nations’ health and for the Health Co-Management process.
There are six subcommittees under the Co-management Committee: Children and Youth, Health Protection, Mental Health and Addictions, Non-Insured Health Benefits, Operations and Support, and Prevention Programs. These subcommittees can discuss a variety of topics, including discretionary funding, new funding, program updates, engaging with partners in health, and federal announcements.
Each of these subcommittees has two representatives from each Treaty area as well as two representatives from First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). Each Treaty area has one vote for decision-making, and so does FNIHB.
Each subcommittee has the ability to make decisions on funding up to $250,000 and to make recommendations to the Co-Management Committee over $250,000.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Children and youth are our future, and First Nations between the ages of 15 – 30 are the fastest growing population in Canada. It’s no wonder that Health Co-Management has its own dedicated subcommittee to programs for First Nations children and youth.
Health Protection includes proactive program to help to monitor and control the spread of diseases and infections in community. Health Protection programs also monitor drinking water on reserve.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS
First Nations people’s mental health is important to better health outcomes, and the Mental Health and Addictions subcommittee ensures service excellence in Alberta.
NON-INSURED HEALTH BENEFITS
The Non-Insured Health Benefits subcommittee oversees the benefits that First Nations people in Alberta receive that are not covered by regular health insurance.
OPERATIONS AND SUPPORT
The Operations and Support subcommittee are integral to the process in which First Nations are able to review all funding allocations for the year, known as the Management Operations Plan (MOP) process.