Trilateral Health Meeting Held in Yellowknife

Yellowknife (February 13, 2024) – Indigenous leaders, Premier R.J. Simpson, Minister Lesa Semmler of Health and Social Services, Mark Holland, Minister of Health Canada and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada and Member of Parliament Michael McLeod met in Yellowknife today.

The trilateral meeting was a commitment of the Government of Canada related to “Working together to improve health care in Canada” and is part of ongoing commitment amongst governments that serve the Northwest Territories, and in particular Indigenous populations, to collaborate further.

Leaders discussed territory-wide health issues that are of priority concern and Northern and Indigenous-led solutions that will improve access to health services and equity in health outcomes for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis including Modern Treaty holders and Self -Governing Indigenous governments. This included implementation of the new bilateral health agreements, ongoing conversations around Non-Insured Health Benefits including medical travel and dental care, mental wellness, addictions recovery and community-based care. Leaders also discussed health-related impacts related to climate change such as wildfire and flooding.

Leaders attending the meeting included:

  • Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik, Gwich’in Tribal Council (virtual)
  • Grand Chief Herb Norwegian, Dehcho First Nations
  • Grand Chief Wilbert Kochon, Sahtu Dene Council
  • Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty, Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Chief Clifford Daniels, Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Chief Adeline Football, Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Chief Eugene Hope, Acho Dene Koe First Nation (virtual)
  • Chair Charles McNeely, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated
  • Ɂekw’ahtı̨dǝ́ Danny Gaudet, Délı̨nę Got'ınę Government (virtual)
  • President Marc Whitford, North Slave Métis Alliance
  • Chief April Martel, Kátł’odeeche First Nation
  • Chief Steve Vital, Nahanni Butte Dene Band
  • Vice President Paul Harrington, Northwest Territory Métis Nation
  • Premier R.J. Simpson, Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs and Minister of Justice, GNWT
  • Minister Lesa Semmler, Minister of Health and Social Services, GNWT
  • Minister Mark Holland, Health Canada
  • Minister Patty Hajdu, Indigenous Services of Canada (virtual)
  • Member of Parliament Michael McLeod


Delegates also attended from the following governments:

  • Evelyn Storr, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
  • Patsy Schaefer, Co-Interim CEO, Salt River First Nation
  • Jennifer Drygeese, Health and Wellness Director, Yellowknives Dene First Nation


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