The IRG was the platinum sponsor of the 2018 conference of the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA).

This partnership is important to us, for three reasons.

This is the largest Indigenous health event in Canada, led by an Indigenous organization.  Indigenous experts share about best/wise practices in their community, real experience of health programming and delivery based in culture.  It’s more than adaptation of mainstream approaches, because the most effective services are based in culture.  Adaptation too often misses the fundamental differences in approach, and too often minimizes Indigenous knowledge and cultural resilience.  When Indigenous people design programs first in their own culture, and add on from mainstream health knowledge if it aligns with Indigenous knowledge, this is quality. The FNHMA is about culturally competent health delivery.

This is about building local capacity for excellence.  Many studies across the world mark the importance of health delivered close to home.  Somehow when decisions and programs are designed far away, they miss the mark.  But when decisions and programs are designed close to home are much more likely to reflect local strengths and culture.  A good thing.  The FNHMA is about building local capacity for health leadership.

This is about celebration. First Nations have endured so much in history, and continue to endure significant challenges in health equity.  But the FNHMA chooses to celebrate accomplishments of First Nations leaders and allies, a mark of a balanced organization.  A sign of the old ways of Indigenous cultures in which we celebrated each other.

The FNHMA leads in Indigenous health, along with the support of allies in mainstream health organizations.  The IRG is honoured to sponsor this organization for health leadership.