AMC Calls for Culturally Safe MRI Services at PRHC in Portage la Prairie

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by ahnationtalk on July 5, 202426 Views


July 5, 2024

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is calling for culturally safe and accessible MRI services at the new Portage Regional Health Centre (PRHC). Recent advocacy efforts by over 30 doctors from Portage Clinic and First Nations Citizens sharing their lived experiences highlight the urgent need to address longstanding health disparities faced by First Nations in the area.

Grand Chief Cathy Merrick sees the construction of the PRHC as an opportunity for collaboration between Portage la Prairie, the provincial government, and First Nations Leadership to advance reconciliation. She emphasizes that the current health systems, deeply rooted in colonial values and racist ideologies, continue to profoundly impact the health and wellness of First Nations people across the province.

“Colonization’s legacy manifests as significant health challenges, loss of language and culture, and marginalization,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “The persistent disregard of the portability aspect of First Nations’ Treaty Right to Health underscores the immediate necessity for healthcare systems that are accessible, culturally safe, and equitable. These systems must be developed in a First Nations-led process in order to ensure they are responsive to First Nations’ self-identified needs, aligned with the UNDRIP Act and considerate of the barriers First Nations face in navigating the provincial healthcare system.”

The AMC calls on municipal and provincial governments to include First Nations governments in the discussion surrounding the development of diagnostic services at PRHC. Additionally, AMC urges the promotion of employment opportunities for First Nations within health regions, recruitment of qualified First Nations professionals, and the development of retention strategies for existing First Nations employees. These efforts are crucial for creating a healthcare workforce that mirrors the community it serves while also supporting meaningful partnerships with First Nations and First Nations organizations.

“Addressing these disparities is not just about improving healthcare access; it’s about ensuring governments work with First Nations Leadership to uphold our distinct Inherent and Treaty Rights where there are jurisdictional gray areas,” continued Grand Chief Merrick. “We cannot achieve true reconciliation without dismantling systemic barriers that hinder our access to culturally safe healthcare.”

For more information, please contact:

Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Email:  media@manitobachiefs.com

About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 172,000 First Nations citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anisininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.

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