Collective Conception Of Four Arrows Regional Health Authority

The beginnings of FARHA

Four Arrows Regional Health Authority (FARHA) is a regional organization created and governed by the four Island Lake First Nations that works cooperatively with their community health services, striving to improve health conditions and health services in the Island Lake region. FARHA has a supportive network with the four Island Lake communities health centres, including Garden Hill First Nation, St. Theresa Point First Nation, Red Sucker Lake First Nation and Wasagamack First Nation.

How It All Started

In February 1999, fifteen people serving in the health field in all four communities met together to plan ways to improve health services and conditions in Island Lake. Above is a visual rendition of their vision for FARHA. 

They followed a planning process called P.A.T.H. (Planning Alternatives Tomorrows with Hope) At the end of the two day planning process, they concluded that by working together all would be stronger and services would improve.

They chose to call their cooperative health initiative the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority and in January 2000 the four Island Lake Chiefs passed a Tribal Council Resolution formally sanctioning the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority as a regional health board of eight people.

By October 2001 the Board had assumed full responsibility for all regional health services, including those formerly managed by the Island Lake Tribal Council Health Services. The head office for the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority Inc. has been established in Wasagamack, with a Winnipeg sub-office being located on the second floor of the Island Lake Tribal Council building at 338 Broadway.

Present Situation:

At present, the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority and the four Island Lake community health services are pursuing the following major initiatives.

Working with Federal and Provincial health officials to develop a modern Primary Health Care Centre in Island Lake. This includes dialysis, lab and x-ray, hospital, birthing center, medical treatment, 24 hour/7 days emergency etc… (the programs have been successful in establishing an Interim Renal Health and Dialysis Facility and Program in Garden Hill).

Working with community staff and Federal and Provincial officials to complete the development and improvement of Public Health services (this initiative began April 1, 2003 with the assumption Public Health Nursing responsibilities). The organization has just completed a two-year post public health transfer evaluation to determine how the services may be improved.

Working with community staff to revamp and re-energize our regional and community approaches to Mental Health. Our program is call Healing and Wellness and is at present close to completing a proposal and initiative to transfer the Mental Health Therapist Program from FNIHB.

Working with community staff and Federal and Provincial officials to develop, implement and continue to monitor and improve the Home and Community Care Program for the four communities.

At one of our very earliest planning meetings with our leadership, one of our chiefs, Chief David Harper of the Garden Hill First Nation, also the Chairperson of the Island Lake Tribal Council stated:

“In all our negotiations, meetings and discussions with governments and our government partners, we need ammunition in our struggles. You the health technicians provide us with that ammunition. We, the Chiefs are the bows and you the health technicians are our arrows.”

Our Mission

“As a regional organization created by the Island Lake Anishininew Nations, we work cooperatively with community health services to improve health outcomes for the Island Lake membership”

Our Vision Statement

Mamow Aninshininew Minoyawin

“Island Lake people in Wellness together”