The Ninth Gathering is hosted by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), First Nations Health Council (FNHC) and First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA) in coordination with the International Indigenous Council for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (IICHOSW).

About FNHA

In 2013, the FNHA began a new era in BC First Nations health governance and health care delivery by taking responsibility for the programs and services formerly delivered by Health Canada. Since then the FNHA has been working to address service gaps through new partnerships, closer collaboration, health systems innovation, reform and redesign of health programs and services for individuals, families, communities and Nations.

The FNHA is also a champion of culturally safe practices throughout the broader health care system. Taking a leadership role, the FNHA actively works with its health partners to embed cultural safety and humility into health service delivery and improve health outcomes for First Nations people.

The FNHA’s community-based services are primarily focused on health promotion and disease prevention and include:

  • primary health care through more than 130 medical health centres and nursing stations
  • children, youth and maternal health
  • mental health and wellness
  • communicable disease control
  • environmental health and research
  • health benefits
  • e-health and telehealth
  • health and wellness planning
  • health infrastructure and human resources

The FNHA’s vision is to transform the health and well-being of BC’s Indigenous people. This vision is centred on wellness – rather than illness – and on exploring what wellness means to the First Nations people the organization serves. It is an ambitious vision that has generated interest around the world, and so the FNHA is proud to host Healing Our Spirit Worldwide.


The First Nations Health Council

The First Nations Health Council (FNHC) is a provincial-level political and advocacy organization that represents and is accountable to First Nations in BC.  The FNHC advocates for First Nations’ health and wellness priorities support health systems transformation and builds partnerships to make progress on the social determinants of health.

The First Nations Health Directors Association

The First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA): is composed of Health Directors and managers working in First Nations communities.  Supports professional development for Health Directors and managers.  Acts as a technical advisory body to the FNHC and FNHA on research, policy, program planning and design as well as the implementation of the Health Plans.



With its scenic views, mild climate, and friendly people, Vancouver is known around the world as both a popular tourist attraction and one of the best places to live.

Vancouver is also one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada with 52 percent of the population speaking a first language other than English.    

Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics.

As a City of Reconciliation, the City of Vancouver has committed to “form a sustained relationship of mutual respect and understanding with local First Nations and the urban Indigenous community.” This is an ongoing and evolving commitment and one that is essential to our path forward.

The International Indigenous Council

The International Indigenous Council for Healing our Spirit Worldwide (IICHOSW) is the governance body that provides support, guidance and advice to the hosts of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide.

The Council has developed the following statement of beliefs:

  • We, as Indigenous peoples, control our own health and healing institutions that are based on our culture and traditions and languages
  • Our culture, traditions, stories and spirituality must form the foundation of the HOSW Movement Community is the catalyst for change
  • The circle will grow through compassion, respect, love and commitment Indigenous peoples must take control of, and implement our own research
  • Indigenous peoples from developing countries must be supported through planning and ongoing involvement in the HOSW Movement
  • All members of our communities must be involved in each Gathering in a meaningful way that meets their needs as participants in the circle of life
  • Political leadership must be involved in the Movement to help lead the promotion of healthy lifestyles free of substance abuse
  • Working together with conference partners is the only way to manage and implement a successful Gathering

These beliefs form the foundation for our principles and values:

Inclusiveness: we will make every effort to include Indigenous Nations around the world in the Movement

Diversity: we respect the diversity of Indigenous Peoples everywhere

Respect: we respect the culture, the traditions, the values and beliefs of Indigenous peoples worldwide

Working Together: we work together in the spirit of cooperation and healing

Sharing: we promote the sharing of programs, ideas and information on the health and healing of Indigenous peoples

Reciprocity: we are committed to the giving and sharing but also to the obligation of receiving the ideas, cultures and beliefs of all Indigenous People worldwide​​​

Members of the IIC

Rod Jeffries, Mohawk, Canada

Allen Benson, Cree, Canada
JoAnn Kauffmann, Nez Perce, USA
Jilleen Joseph, Blackfoot, USA
Sheri Daniels, Native Hawaiian, Hawaii
Shane Houston, , Australia
Barry Bublitz, He uri au o Ngāti Kōhua nō Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki
Ko Ngāti Tupaia me Ngāti Tānewai, nō Tāngahoe Whānui
kei Taranaki Tonga kei, Aotearoa (New Zealand)