Health Transformation FAQs

General Health Transformation FAQs

Q. What is Health Transformation?

Health Transformation at Southern Chiefs Organization is a community driven process that is creating a new and improved First Nation health system for southern First Nations in Manitoba.

Q. How did Health Transformation at SCO come to be?

The Health Transformation Process is a community-led engagement process which began in 2019 following the passing of the SCO Chiefs-in-Summit resolution, Exercising our Treaty, and Inherent Right to Health. The resolution was a significant step towards transforming the health care system in accordance with the priorities set out by our southern First Nations. In June 2020, SCO signed an historic memorandum of understanding with Canada to work together to begin to transform the health care system, and in 2021, another SCO Chiefs-in-Summit resolution was passed, this time to support a Health Transformation Action Plan to fulfill First Nation priorities for an Agreement-in-Principle. In June of 2022, Manitoba committed to developing an Agreement-in-Principle with Canada and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization. This First Nations led tripartite process will result in the formation a southern First Nation health authority.

Q. What is a health ‘authority’ and what does it mean for me?

A health authority is a recognized official health department or board of health that has jurisdiction over a particular geographical area. Health for Anishinaabeg and Dakota Peoples encompasses the physical, spiritual, mental, economic, environmental, social, and cultural wellness of the individual, family, and community. A health system (“authority”) for and run by Anishinaabeg and Dakota peoples means greater control over the design and delivery of federally funded health programs and services that puts into action an Anishinaabe and Dakota definition of health to improve the quality of life for our people.

Q. What is a health system?

A health system, also sometimes referred to as a health care system, is the organization of people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations.

Q. How does a health system impact me?

A health system includes organizations, people, and actions whose goal is to promote, restore, or maintain health. This includes efforts to influence things that both directly affect health (e.g., Infectious diseases and disability) and indirectly affect health (e.g., good roads and education)

A health system is therefore more than hospitals and other public health institutions that deliver personal health services. It includes, for example, a mother caring for a sick child at home; private providers; behavior change programs e.g., anger management counseling; occupational health and safety legislation; advocacy by health staff, for example, encouraging the ministry of education to promote female education, a well-known issue that affects better health.

Q. How is an Anishinaabeg and Dakota healthcare system going to be different from the current healthcare system in Manitoba?

Community priorities (PDF) highlighted the need for an Anishinaabe and Dakota independent and decolonized First Nations Health System led by southern First Nations for First Nations that will work with First Nation partners and all orders of government to close the health gap between Manitobans and First Nations citizens.

The new Anishinaabeg and Dakota healthcare system will offer communities the choice of traditional medicines and knowledge, will be Indigenous led, trauma informed, culturally safe, include language immersion, and local access and most importantly, will tackle systemic racism.

Q. What are the 5 key Health priorities in the southern First Nations?

  • Community-based primary care services in each community
  • A cultural and traditional knowledge foundation to health care
  • An increase in mental health and addictions programming
  • An Increase in Elder programs and services
  • More Health Human Resources

Q. Who is my Community Health Transformation Liaison?

List of Community Health Transformation Liaison

Q. How can I get involved?

Your opinion matters! To learn more about how you can get involved and help create this ground-breaking health transformation, contact the SCO Health Team at 204-946-1869 or SCO’s General Health email at You can also visit SCO’s website at

Information in a Good Way FAQs

Q. What is ‘Information in a Good Way?’

It is a resolution passed at the September 2021 Chiefs-in-Summit that lays out the duties for the Southern Chiefs’ Organization with regards to community data sovereignty and data repatriation, and commits to developing Indigenous youth to lead in these areas. 

Q. What does Information in a Good Way mean for me and my community?

Information in a Good Way means that SCO is working to ensure that community created information – including health data – stays in community where it can be protected, utilized, and preserved for future generations. 

Q. What is the main objective of Information in a Good Way?

It aims to create procedures, build systems, and impart expertise to our youth that will allow for community information to be safely held in community instead of in settler data banks. Information in a Good Way rights a great wrong by putting control of a Nation’s data patrimony  back into its own hands. 

Q. What is unique about Information in a Good Way?

Indigenous peoples around the world are asserting their rights to data sovereignty in all kinds of ways. Of all the resolutions we’ve read, Information in a Good Way is only one that states that supporting youth development is the means to achieve it. 

Q. How does Information in a Good Way link to Health Transformation?

The challenges of collecting and storing our own health data led to the creation of the resolution, but the same principles apply to lots of other information areas. Information in a Good Way means that your health data will be securely stored in your First Nation community moving forward.

Q. Why is data governance an important consideration for Federal, Manitoba, and First Nations partners? 

Federal and Provincial governments have largely taken a paternalistic view of First Nations data, have established large, centralized warehouses for it in the name of efficiency and regularly make First Nations communities apply to retrieve data that belongs to them. Having a governance plan illustrates that Nations can take care of their own data, points out where the sticking points are between settler legislation and data sovereignty and seeks a solution that makes it work.   

Q. What is the Southern 34 First Nations role in the implementation of Information in a Good Way?

Though the Information is a Good Way resolution was  unanimously adopted at the Chiefs-in-Summit, individual nations will need to ensure that they have the resources necessary to achieve their aims. SCO is here to support any nation that wishes to exert its authority, claim sovereignty over their data, and begin the process of repatriating information that was harvested without permission. Health Transformation will have more specific goals for health data in the coming years.

Q. What are the Federal and Provincial governments’ roles in the implementation of Information in a Good Way? 

The Anishinaabe and Dakota people of the southern 34 have a Charter-protected and UNDRIP affirmed right to determine how their knowledge is used and their data is stored to achieve self-determination. True Nation to Nation reconciliation is impossible without the return of data necessary to support the growth and development of all aspects of modern statehood.

Q. Who are the major players/supporters/stakeholders in the Information in a Good Way initiative? 

First Nations rights holders are the only players in the work we seek to do. However, advocating with Provincial and Federal partners to amend legislation that restricts collection of information by anyone other than the Crown or its agents is an important part of this initiative.

Q. What is the difference between the role of HIRGC in FN Data governance and the role of Information in a good way? 

Health Information Research Governance Committee (HIRGC) is a part of FNHSSM and the regional representative for the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC). Their role is to assist First Nations in Manitoba with making decisions on specific research questions within communities and to ensure that outside entities are aware of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP) principles that should govern the good relations between Nations. Information in a Good Way aims to create procedures, build systems, and impart expertise to our youth that will allow for community information to be safely held in community instead of in settler data banks.

Q. What are the resolution’s key accomplishments to date? 

We are still in the early days of Information in a Good Way, and it represents a major shift in how we view, collect and store information. Health Transformation is leading the way for SCO here and we have committed to making any information harvested from the southern 34 regarding HT be available to them via their Community Health Transformation Liaison 24/7.

Q. What is needed for Information in a Good Way’s success? 

Once we have community-wide understanding of and commitment to the values the resolution features, we will need the resources to create, store and distribute information in accordance with a community’s wishes, along with the good, high-value jobs that go hand in hand with managing digital data systems for youth.

Q. What are the next steps? 

We need and will support communities to get up and running with their own secure data storage systems, so that we can begin the process of repatriating all the data SCO has harvested from them over the years, as well as calling on settler systems to begin the process of returning that which does not belong to them. We are refining the health data system model and as we do, the pathway and guides we will require to exert data sovereignty in all aspects of community life will become clearer.

Health Transformation Community Engagement FAQs

Q. What is the Community Engagement process at SCO Health Transformation?

To date, Health Transformation has conducted two rounds of community engagement. The first round of community engagement was conducted in the Spring- Late fall of 2020. This first round of engagement used the following tools for engagement with different subgroups in our 34 Southern First Nation communities:

  • Meetings
  • Information sessions
  • Interviews
  • Survey
  • Asset Mapping for baseline

Q. What are the guiding principles that inform Health Transformation’s community engagement?

Throughout the community engagement process, individual community members, health teams and Leadership have communicated several guiding principles that are informed by Dakota and Anishinaabe ways of knowing. These include:

  • Health Self-Determination: Deliver person-centered care and strive for continuous quality improvement of care. Empower patients and their families to be the owners of the health-care system and their health-care choices.
  • Language and culture: Promote the development and support the use of cultural ways of healing, traditional medicines, land-based healing, traditional healers, and holistic care. Promote and support the use of our Anishinaabe and Dakota languages in Health Care
  • Health Care Equity: Seek equal outcomes, rights and respect for all people as they experience the health care system.
  • Good Governance: Ensure accountability, fiscal responsibility, transparency, open lines of communication, full control of all hires, control over programs and services and community involvement (including youth and elders) in decision making at all levels of the health care governance structure.
  • Optimal Health Care Standards: Promote the development and support of improved service delivery that is culturally safe, sensitive and confidential, delivered with minimal delay that fosters mutual respect for both the individual, the provider and the circle of care.
  • Strong infrastructure: New improved service delivery that meets the needs of the community, including buildings, equipment, roads, transportation, etc.

Q. Who are the community Health Transformation Liaisons?

The Community Health Transformation Liaisons directly support the community engagement work being done in community by:

  • Setting up Health Transformation sessions and events in their First Nation community and region.
  • Coordinating activities on the Health Transformation Initiative for the community, its members, and its leadership.
  • Working with their Health Director on the collection of wisdom, advice, feedback, and guidance from the community.
  • Providing assistance and support for events that may be held outside the community as needed
  • With the aid of the SCO Health Team, helping respond to community requests for resources and information on the Health Transformation Initiative and how to get involved.

Q. How can I get involved?

To learn more about how you can get involved and help create this ground-breaking health transformation, contact your Community Health Transformation Liaison or the SCO Health Team at 204-946-1869 or SCO’s General Health email at You can also visit SCO’s website at