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On March 11, I was honoured to participate in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Siksika Nation and Alberta Health.
The MOU sets the foundation for a collaborative relationship between Siksika Nation and Alberta Health to advance health outcomes for Nation members.
I was pleased to join incredible leaders along with Premier Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and my colleague Joseph Schow, MLA for Cardston-Siksika for this event.
Chief Crowfoot of Siksika Nation explained what this relationship means. “A tremendous strength of Siksika Nation is its extensive and effective range of health services. This relationship agreement with Alberta Health will further empower Siksika Nation to deliver comprehensive programming and services that are holistic, community-based, and put the health and wellness needs of Siksikawa first. Today’s signing represents an important step forward in Siksika Nation’s relationship with Alberta Health as we endeavour together towards equitable health outcomes.”
The MOU increase Siksika Nation’s control and access to health services, and it will also help ensure traditional knowledge and cultural practices inform any recommendations for improvements to health service delivery.
Traditional knowledge and cultural practices are so important when it comes to the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples.
I was especially pleased to see the MOU included the Blackfoot language and Siksika Nation Elders’ Guiding Principles.
The signing of the MOU represents a commitment to work together to ensure Siksika Nation members have access to the health services that best meet their needs, on and off reserve.
It is proof of the good things come from strong relationships built on respect.
It is one more example of the Alberta government’s commitment to work with Indigenous people as equal partners working to make reconciliation a lived reality.