How NITHA Started
In 1987, Canada created the Federal Health Transfer Policy, which encouraged First Nations to define their specific needs and develop relevant health structures and services to meet those needs. This transfer process was a way to shift control concerning health from the federal government to First Nations.
During the mid 1990’s, the federal government adopted an envelope system of financial administration as a measure to reduce the federal deficit. This caused standard negotiated mechanisms within transfer agreements, for incremental growth (both population and price), to become obsolete. First Nation health systems were limited in their ability to adjust incrementally for population growth and increments in price. As a result of these challenges, an urgent need developed to update and revise the initial transfer framework and policy (1987).
The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) arose from this demand with a goal to increase third level support services of its partners; Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC), Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) and Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB).
In 2001, NITHA opened with a mission to achieve improved quality of health and well-being of its partner community members.
Today, NITHA serves 33 First Nations communities with a population of 55,000 (and growing).