Visioning the Future: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Population and Public Health is the outcome of an invitation by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) to write a commissioned document to accompany Dr. Theresa Tam’s annual report on the state of public health in Canada, entitled A Vision to Transform Canada’s Public Health System.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has underscored and exacerbated inequities in public health, drawing attention to the crucial need to articulate a public health vision for Indigenous Peoples that conceives of a healthier, more equitable future.
Developed through collaborations with the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, as well as First Nations, Inuit, and Métis public health experts across the country, Visioning the Future reveals a pathway to a healthy tomorrow by addressing population and public health challenges for Indigenous Peoples in several areas: the environment; infectious diseases; data and governance; mental wellness; and social determinants of health.
Privileging Indigenous knowledges as articulated by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people from coast to coast to coast, Visioning the Future lays out an achievable, multi-faceted public health vision for a future that is characterized by equity and free of disease, discrimination, and racism – one in which First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people are self-determining and self-governing, and where public and population health is informed by Indigenous knowledges and traditional practices.
Dr. Margo Greenwood, Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health, celebrates this publication as a “historic opportunity,” noting that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis public health experts and advocates “have been lobbying through several iterations of the CPHO’s report for an independent Indigenous-authored document.” Visioning the Future marks the success of these efforts.