Mino Pimatiseewin : a content analysis of the Aboriginal and First Nations submissions to the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada

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McIvor-Girouard, Rose
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This research supports the assertion that First Nations peoples and their organizations have suggestions and potential solutions for addressing the future of health care in Canada as it relates First Nations Canadians. First Nations understand and know what changes are needed to improve their poor health status within Canada. This research, based on a First Nation perspective, used content analysis to explore the needs identified by the First Nations organizations that responded to the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (the Romanow Commission). The Romanow Commission was established in April 2001 and one element of its mandate was to engage Canadians in a national dialogue on the future of heath care and make recommendations to the health care system. This research examined the written submissions to the Romanow Commission by the thirty-two (32) Aboriginal organizations. The main interest and focus of this research was on the written submissions of eighteen (18) First Nations organizations. The Aboriginal Life Promotion Framework (Bartlett, 2004) was developed by a Metis woman and sensitized the researcher in the direction and organization of the research data. The research analysis revealed twenty-one (21) themes among the Aboriginal submissions. Four (4) of these themes were common to all five identified Aboriginal categories [First Nations, Inuit, Metis, Metis & Aboriginal, Aboriginal Interest/Focus] created by the researcher to assist in the organization of the research data. The researcher examined these four themes with the major focus being First Nations health concerns with respect to: (1) relatonships with federal and provincial governments; (2) policy and program development; (3) fiscal resources; and, (4) accessibility issues. The research found First Nations did not echo the same approach to change the health care system as the Romanow Commission did in its final report regarding Aboriginal Health. It is important for First Nations people to put forth their own ideas about the direction for First Nations health to offset the pan-Aboriginal approach that the Romanow Commission has offered. Therefore, this research supports the need for increased participation by First Nations peoples, including their respective governments and First Nations health organizations in health research. From their own perspectives, First Nations identified their own solutions, which they believe may likely lead to a better health care system for First Nations. This research has advocated for the future development of a "Mioo Pimatisiwin or Mino Pimatisiwin First Nations Conceptual Framework" developed by First Nations for First Nations Health Research. "Mino Pimatisiwin" in the Swampy Cree language [Mioo Pimatisiwin in the Woodlands Cree] translated infers the meaning "good survival/living, "healthy survival/living". The results of this research will be of interest to those engaged in policy development as it relates to First Nations health.