Everything you need to know about us

If you have any concerns please read this collection of frequently asked questions. If you are unclear about something feel free to contact us.

Who are Aboriginal Peoples?

Aboriginal Peoples are three distinct populations: First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people. They are diverse groups of people with distinct cultures.

How many Aboriginal Peoples are there in Manitoba?

According to the National Household Survey done by Statistics Canada in 2011, in Manitoba there were 195,900 Aboriginal people. This represents 14% of Manitoba’s population.

  • There are 114,225 First Nations people in Manitoba.
  • There are 78,830 Métis in Manitoba.
  • There are less than 400 Inuit living in Manitoba, with the majority of them living in Winnipeg.
  • There are also Aboriginal people in Manitoba who identify as having multiple Aboriginal identities. For example, they may identify as First Nations AND Inuit; First Nations AND Metis; Metis and Inuit; etc.

How are Aboriginal Peoples involved in developing this program?

We have an Aboriginal advisory council consisting of First Nation, Inuit, and Metis people who provide feedback and direction to guide the development of this program.

We have also met with organizations such as the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Metis Federation, and the Manitoba Urban Inuit Association to ensure they are aware of our plans for providing these clinics and workshops to the populations that they represent.

Aren’t there already enough health services for Aboriginal Peoples in Manitoba?

No. The three health charities share the opinion that there are not enough programs that help Aboriginal Peoples to prevent chronic health issues.

Health services for Aboriginal Peoples are complex because of jurisdictional issues. Some First Nations people are considered to have “status” while others do not. This means that there is inequity between the services provided to First Nations people, along with Inuit and Metis.

For example, Status First Nations people are supposed to have their dental and medical costs covered by the federal government through a program called Non-Insured Health Benefits. Non-Status First Nations won’t have the same coverage, and therefore, may not be able to get the same types of services as their Status First Nations family members.

This is also true for Metis people. Some Metis are unable to get their Metis status. Therefore, Metis people who are a part of the Manitoba Metis Federation may benefit from more services than other Metis people who have not yet been recognized as having their Metis identity.

What services are available for Aboriginal communities?

The organizations will travel to areas of Manitoba that do not have such access, providing muchneeded screening clinics and education workshops. We will collect data for practical research purposes, ensuring that goals and outcomes are met. Progress reports will be analyzed and distributed throughout the initial period of the program (2015-2017).

Why are you focusing on providing new services for Aboriginal Peoples?

There is a lot of research that shows that Aboriginal Peoples suffer from disproportionate rates of chronic diseases. This is a huge problem for Manitoba because our province has one of the largest populations of Aboriginal Peoples compared to the rest of Canada. Aboriginal Peoples also have the youngest population of all ethnic groups in Canada, and the fastest growing population.

If Aboriginal Peoples continue to suffer from worse health compared to all other Canadians, this could mean an “economic tsunami” on Manitoba health care system. Since many Aboriginal peoples live in northern and remote communities, the cost of providing health care to them becomes higher than providing services to people who live in urban areas.

There are diabetes and kidney screening clinics in Aboriginal communities. How are these ones any different?

Yes, there are clinics provided through the Diabetes Integration Team, delivered in partnership with the Manitoba Renal Program. We are aware of these clinics, but unfortunately, they are only delivered in about 11 First Nations throughout the province. There are 64 First Nations communities in Manitoba, so we have learned that there are many communities who are anxiously awaiting screening clinics to be available in their areas.

The screening clinics do not target Inuit or Metis populations. We are ensuring that a certain proportion of our clinics will reach these populations as well.

We take a bit of a different approach to our screening clinics. We are testing for risks connected to four
health issues:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.