The territorial land base of the Interior Region, as defined by BC Regional Health Authority boundaries is 237,692 km squared, 25.7% of the total provincial land base. For the purposes of this profile, the administrative geographic boundaries of the Interior Health Authority (IHA) are used but there are First Nations communities within these geographic boundaries that are included in other health regions for First Nations health planning purposes.
Interior Regional Health and Wellness Plan
The interim Interior Regional Health and Wellness Plan is a joint plan developed through collaboration among the 7 Nations of the Interior – the Dãkelh Dené, Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’át’imc, Syilx and Tsilhqot’in – Interior Health Authority and the First Nations Health Authority. It establishes a common voice and perspective on health and wellness. It describes the Nations’ overall direction regarding their vision and guiding principles; who the Nations are; and their Regional and Nation health and wellness priorities. This plan describes how the Nations and their partners will work together based on the 7 Directives , the guiding principles outlined in the Indigenous Nations of the Interior Declaration of Unity (2010), the Interior Partnership Accord (2012) and the Nation Letters of Understanding with Interior Health Authority.
The Interior Nations’ priorities focus on improving health programs and services, bringing financial resources and decision-making closer to home and strengthening, maintaining and aligning capacity with communities and Nations through a system that is deeply rooted in the values, principles and cultures of the 7 Nations of the Interior. Governance structures and processes continue to evolve to support implementation of this vision and the iRHWP describes the various entities that the 7 Nations will establish, in partnership with Interior Health Authority and the First Nations Health Authority, to support technical work and decision-making. The iRHWP also sets the intention to further refine communication and engagement processes to ensure that everyone receives the information they need and have opportunities for engagement and to provide input and direction to the work moving forward.
Each of the 7 Nations have identified emerging health priorities and remain committed to developing Nation Health and Wellness Plans over the next year. Regional priorities, summarized below, have been identified based on the 7 Directives and the priorities shared among multiple Nations. In future planning cycles, Nation plans, which have been informed by community priorities, will be the basis of the Regional Health and Wellness Plan.
This interim plan is a living document that will be revisited and revised to reflect the structures and processes being developed and the further planning work that will be done throughout the year by the 7 Nations. This work will lay the foundation for the 7 Nations to continue to operationalize the 7 Directives and Unity Principles, and to transform the health system serving their people to one that is based in their values, principles and cultures and best supports the health and wellness of the people of the 7 Interior Nations.
Download the interim Interior Regional Health and Wellness Plan here. (PDF 13.8MB)
Interior Region Nation Executive
Achieving the vision set out in the Interior Region Health and Wellness Plan is a long-term process. We can’t tackle everything at once, so the Interior Region Nation Executive is working with the Nations to establish strategic directions in health transformation through a value-based process that includes the principles of respect, discipline, relationships, culture, excellence, and fairness. The action items identified here are the priorities we are moving forward on because they are what we are hearing from the Nations. This document supports an ongoing discussion where we can collectively agree on priorities for the Interior Region.1 For consistency and clarity, this document is organized according to the 7 Directives. Note that this is a strategic rather than an operational document. It identifies key strategies for moving forward. The steps involved in operationalizing these strategic directions are not included here; rather they are laid out in the Interior Region Workplan. We can’t do this without leadership supported by partners. The process of health transformation relies on strengthening existing relationships and building new ones. Relationship building is delicate work. Developing trust is key.
Read the Strategic Directions here (PDF 4.78 MB)
Interior Region Caucus Update – November 2015
The purpose of this Interior Region Caucus Update is to present an overview of key activities and accomplishments in the Interior Region over the past year. The sections below are organized under the 7 Directives in alignment with the interim Interior Regional Health and Wellness Plan (iRHWP).
The table below provides estimates of the First Nations population living in Interior Region using different data sources, including the 2011 Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)’s Indian Registry, the 2006 Census and the 2011 Census (see Sidebar for more information on these data sources). According to INAC 2011 data, the First Nations population in Interior Region is close to 30,000, representing 22.3% of the First Nations population in BC.
Interior Region Status First Nation Population Estimates, 2006 and 2011
|INAC 2011 (Total pop)||
(On-reserve and Off-reserve)
(On-reserve and Off-reserve)
Sources: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and Census, Statistics Canada
Above: Gwen Phillips, Ko’waintco Michel and Jacki McPherson (L-R)
First Nations Communities
|Lhoosk’uz Dene Government|
|Lhtako Dene Nation|
|?Akisq’nuk First Nation|
|Oregon Jack Creek|
|Little Shuswap Lake|
|Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation|
|Simpcw First Nation|
|Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation|
|Okanagan Indian Band|
|Westbank First Nation|
|Bridge River (Xwisten)|
|Cayoose Creek (Sekw’el’was)|
|Xaxlip and Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation|
|Tsi Del Del|
|Xeni Gwet’in First Nation Government|
Umbrella Health Organisations
Umbrella health organisations can be defined as an organisation that coordinates the activities of a number of member organisations and hence promotes a common purpose. The organisations in the following table receive funding from the First Nations and Inuit Health BC Region.
Umbrella Health Organisations
Communities Covered In the Umbrella Health Organisation
|1. Heskw’en’scutxe Health Services Society||Siska
Cook’s Ferry Band
|2. Q’wemtsin Health Society||Skeetchestn
|3. Fraser Thompson Indian Services Society||Spuzzum
Oregon Jack Creek
|4. Three Corners Health Services Society||Soda Creek
|5. Scw’exmx Community Health Services Society||Coldwater
Partnership Accord Marks New Relationship on Health for Interior First Nations
November 14, 2012
Secwepemc Territory (Kamloops) – First Nations in the BC Interior, the First Nations Health Council and the Interior Health Authority are celebrating the creation of a new relationship with the signing of the Interior Partnership Accord on Nov. 14, 2012. The forward-thinking agreement will lead to greater collaboration on elevating the health and wellness outcomes for First Nations in the Interior Region and prepares all parties to work together in new ways that will promote the values of ‘collaboration, trust, inclusion, celebration and innovation’. The Accord will establish a culturally appropriate coordinated and integrated First Nations health and wellness system and lays out a number of achievable goals, action plans, accountability structures and measureable indicators to gauge its success.
“This is only the beginning of the changes that will lead us to our vision of healthy, self-determining, vibrant, BC First Nations children, families and communities,” said Gwen Phillips, of the First Nations Health Council Interior Caucus. “The Interior Partnership Accord builds on a number of historic agreements and includes the principles that Interior Nations articulated in their Unity Declaration in 2010, that we have a responsibility to care for our people in ways that make sense to us and to govern over the territories that the Creator gifted us with.”
Actions stemming from the Accord will result in improved quality, accessibility, delivery, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care programs and services. It will also reflect the cultures and perspectives of Interior First Nations by incorporating First Nations’ models of wellness, and build First Nations health human resource capacity, along with other initiatives. The agreement embraces knowledge sharing and the discussion of addressing the broader social determinants of health while leaving no Nation behind within the Interior region.
“The health of First Nations people within our region is a key priority for Interior Health,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. “Today’s signing is an important step forward as we continue to collaborate with the communities and build on the success of our Aboriginal Health team, to address health disparities and ensure access to culturally appropriate care.”
This Partnership Accord is the final of five regional agreements already signed throughout the province that moves First Nations and the respective regional health authorities in their territory in a new direction. The regional Partnership Accords are part of a greater vision in the creation of a more effective, innovative, culturally appropriate health care system for BC First Nation communities.
Specific Interior Partnership Accord Action Plan items include:
• Forming a Health and Wellness Committee comprised of senior management from both parties.
• Developing a consistent and harmonized planning and evaluation framework.
• Developing Regional Health and Wellness plans that build upon Community/Nation Health Plans with set standards, targets, outcomes and measurements.
• Develop service delivery systems to better reflect the needs of First Nation people in the Interior Region.
• Develop a comprehensive health human resources strategy.
• Establish common indicators, targets, milestones, and benchmarks.
The Accord builds on several key documents and agreements on First Nations health, including the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan, Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, Consensus Paper 2011: British Columbia First Nations Perspectives on a New Health Governance Arrangement, British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance, and Interior Nations Unity Declaration.
Interior Health is one of five geographically-based health authorities in BC. It is responsible for ensuring publicly-funded health services are provided to over 742,000 residents of the Southern Interior across a large geographic region that includes larger cities such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Trail, Penticton and Vernon, as well as a multitude of more rural and remote communities.
The First Nations Health Council Interior Caucus is guided by direction from the Seven Nation Interior Executive that consists of members from the Dãkelh Dene, Ktunaxa, Secwepemc, Syilx, St’át’imc, Tsilhqot’in, and Nlaka’pamux Nation’s, together representing all 54 First Nation communities in the region.
Download the Interior Partnership Accord document here: