AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde: Regional Health Survey Results Will Help Identify Ways to Close the Gap for First Nations

Published: Mar 14, 2018News

March 14, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde stated that the release of the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) Regional Health Survey (RHS) Phase 3, Volume 1 provides valuable information on the health and well-being of First Nations people living on reserve and in northern communities.

“The survey results released today by the FNIGC provides insight on the challenges facing First Nations as well as areas where we’re seeing progress,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “I am particularly encouraged by some of the positive changes for First Nations youth, including enhanced educational outcomes and evidence of healthy behaviors. We know there is still a lot of work to do. We need to assess the findings to see what is working and where we can make investments that improve the lives of our people and help close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and Canada.”

Among many other findings, the RHS 3, Volume 1 released today indicates that more youth are abstaining from alcohol and that there is a significant decrease in smoking on a daily basis. The data also shows higher education attainment and employment rates for First Nations adults. The study does show more work is needed to reduce the incidence of chronic conditions such as diabetes, and support is needed for continued healing initiatives to address inter-generational effects of residential schools.

The RHS is the first and only national health survey created, conducted and carried out by First Nations people for First Nations people. The RHS 3, Volume 1 is the most recent phase with data collection beginning in April 2015 and concluding 18 months later with 23,764 completed surveys across 253 First Nations communities. Volume 2 of the RHS 3 is expected to be released in July 2018.

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.


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Jamie Monastyrski
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National Chief’s Office
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Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
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