Advancing First Nations health research through collaboration

17 February 2016

A memorandum of understanding signed today between the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will support collaborative efforts to advance health research in partnership with British Columbia’s First Nations.

The agreement lays the foundation for future cooperation between MSFHR and FNHA to identify emerging research opportunities that include and support Indigenous methodologies and perspectives, as well as their integration in health and wellness programming and services.

“This is a crucial step in developing health research that is informed by and responsive to our province’s diverse First Nations communities,” said Dr. Diane Finegood, MSFHR President and CEO. “As part of our commitment to building research capacity across British Columbia, MSFHR is excited to work with the First Nations Health Authority on this important issue.”

Research projects undertaken through this memorandum of understanding may focus on a variety of issues, including holistic and preventive approaches to wellness and health care that integrate Traditional Indigenous Knowledge and healing modalities, as well as culturally safe and patient-oriented health and wellness programs and services that improve health outcomes for First Nations people.

“Having First Nations peoples as partners in research decision-making, leading the discussions that impact their health and wellness, sharing their wisdom and priorities, supports better health outcomes, services and data gathering in a meaningful way,” said Joe Gallagher, FNHA CEO. “FNHA looks forward to the good work ahead with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and bringing the direction of First Nations communities along with us.”

The partnership focus is on advancing First Nations health research by working in partnership, building research capacity and working on collaborative initiatives that will advance health and well-being for BC First Nations. The agreement is anticipated to result in the sharing of information and resources to support the mandates of both organizations.

FNHA is mandated by BC First Nations to advance the shared vision of healthy, self-determining, and vibrant BC First Nations children, families, and communities.

Its mission is to support BC First Nations individuals, families and communities to achieve and enjoy the highest level of health and wellness by working with them on their health and wellness journeys, honouring traditions and cultures, and championing First Nations health and wellness within the FNHA organization and with all of our partners.


Media contacts:

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Lori Last
Director, Communications

First Nations Health Authority