Canada congratulates Deer Lake First Nation and Keewaytinook Okimakanak as community primary care services transfer to First Nations organization

DEER LAKE FIRST NATION, ON, April 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, Deer Lake First Nation celebrates the transfer of their community primary care services from Indigenous Services Canada to Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO). Community primary care services will now be delivered using a new service delivery model developed by KO in collaboration with its member communities.

The Government of Canada is supporting the transition of health services to a First Nations organization by providing $1.8 million to KO for fiscal year 2018/19 for the management and delivery of nursing services for the community.

The transfer of primary care services will result in additional nurses serving the community, primary care supports and services tailored to address the community's unique health needs, and improvements in health services integration among KO member communities. Deer Lake is the first KO member community to transfer the administration of its primary care services.


"I applaud Keewaytinook Okimakanak for their leadership in providing First Nation-led services to Deer Lake First Nation. While managing primary care in a remote community can provide unique challenges, KO is ideally placed to understand and respond to the community's needs. Indigenous Services Canada is proud to support this important work that advances self-determination in health."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick Facts

  • Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) is one of five organizations in Northern Ontario who have been funded through the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch's Health Services Integration Fund (HSIF) to explore and develop alternate service delivery models to serve member communities, as well as ways to improve health services integration.
  • KO has received $600,000 in funding from the Government of Canada over two years (2016/17 and 2017/18) through HSIF to develop a service delivery model for its member communities.
  • In order to support improvements to primary care and advancements in health transformation for First Nations communities across the country, the Government of Canada is investing:
    • $235 million in 2018 to work with First Nations partners to transform First Nations health systems by expanding successful models of self-determination;
    • $348.1 million over five years, with $67.5 million on-going to sustain core operations for the provision of primary care services in 79 remote and isolated First Nations communities; and
    • $99.8 million over five years, with $20 million on-going for digital health technologies in First Nations communities.

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