Health Renewal

Transforming healthcare for our citizens.

Moose Cree First Nation has established an agreement with Health Canada to transform the health care services that we provide to our citizens. You may hear of this agreement being called “Health Renewal” or “Health Transformation” or the “Bilateral Health Table”, etc. Essentially, they all mean the same thing, that we are working with the Federal Government to renew the way we deliver health programming to our Moose Cree community members.


What does Health Renewal or Health Transformation mean?

It is about bringing resource allocation (funding, money), accountability, and responsibility back to Moose Cree First Nation to renew the way we deliver health programming to our members.

Why is MCFN undergoing Health Renewal?

Many MCFN citizens currently rely on the services of WAHA, but are seeing a continual decline in health care and service delivery. MCFN does not have voting or speaking rights as to how WAHA delivers their health care to our people. We do not have a representative at the WAHA Board of Directors level due to MCFN not being a signatory to the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement (WAHIFA) in August 2007. Our Chief and Council, at the time of the signing, felt that signing the agreement meant releasing the Federal government from their treaty responsibilities.

MCFN is working with Indigenous Services Canada (Federal Government or Canada) towards a health strategy that will holistically and effectively address the unique health needs and service gaps in the MCFN community, promote MCFN’s self-determination in health and advance reconciliation. Essentially, our health plan is to remove existing dependency on Canada, and eventually the province of Ontario, in delivering MCFN health services.

MCFN is advocating for greater control over our own health and wellness, which is consistent with the inherent right to self-determination.

How does Health Renewal affect MCFN Citizens?

MCFN citizens have a unique opportunity to provide input on the type and the way health care services are delivered in our community to our people. We will be looking for your input on the type, how and when health care services are delivered in and for our community.

The current MCFN Health Services will be unaffected, so services will continue as is. The MCFN Health Renewal is still in the strategic planning phase. Although the two departments are separate, they will work together closely to ensure alignment.

What is the objective of MCFN Health Transformation / Renewal?

To remove existing dependency on Canada and Ontario in delivering MCFN health services. We no longer want to have to fit our health needs into their colonial health models. Instead, we want to design and deliver our own health care programs and services, the MCFN way.

We need a system that:

  • Respects and reflects traditional approaches to healing, our medicines and our cultural values;
  • Treats the whole person, not just the illness;
  • Integrates all services effectively and efficiently under Indigenous governance;
  • Has approaches developed with direct input of community members;
  • Meets community needs as close to home as possible;
  • Recognizes the difference between self-governance over health and self-administration of health; and
  • Has flexibility in the system to design and deliver programs to meet community needs.

Who will be working on MCFN Health Renewal File?

We have a team of five staff working on this file. They include:

  • Melanie Lazarus – Health Renewal Coordinator
  • Kaitlin Ritchie (lead) and Sara Mainville – Legal Advisors
  • Vacant – Lead Negotiator/Senior Government/Policy Advisor
  • Vacant – Community Health Planner

It is our goal to keep MCFN Citizens engaged and informed about the progress of the Health Renewal file. For more information, contact Melanie Lazarus at

Health Transformation Advisory Working Group

Under the direction of MCFN Chief and Council, a Health Transformation Advisory Working Group, related to MCFN Health Transformation is being created. This Working Group will function to advise and provide direction to the Health Renewal Team and MCFN Chief and Council regarding the future of MCFN health. This Working group consists of the following members:

  • Mervin Cheechoo – MCFN Chief
  • Dr. Katherine Turner – MCFN Councillor
  • Kathy Faries – Quachegan – MCFN Councillor
  • Norm Hardisty – MCFN Councillor
  • Vacant – MCFN Staff Member
  • Vacant – MCFN Community Member