Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative

Indigenous communities require qualified health workers to deliver high quality, culturally safe health services. Ensuring an adequate supply of nurses, doctors and community-based workers is a challenge for some Indigenous communities.

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About the initiative

The Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative (AHHRI) invests $4.5 million annually in training and education. It aims to increase the number of Indigenous peoples entering health careers. It also provides training to community-based workers and health managers delivering health services in First Nations and Inuit communities.

The program has 2 streams:

Stream 1: scholarships and bursaries for Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary health education

Aim: to increase the number of Indigenous students entering health and dental careers.

Target population: First Nations, Inuit and Métis students or prospective students studying in health and dental fields at universities and colleges.

How it is delivered: AHHRI provides $3 million annually in bursaries and scholarships for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students pursuing post-secondary studies in health and dental fields. It has a three-year funding arrangement with Indspire to administer this funding.

Indspire is an Indigenous-led, registered, national charity dedicated to advancing the educational outcomes of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Government of Canada provides funding to Indspire's Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards Programto support post-secondary education in the health and dental fields. Since 2007, Indspire has supported more than 4,500 Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary health education.

Indspire promotes its scholarships and bursaries through a regional representation program. Over a hundred past recipients are active promoters in high schools, post-secondary educational institutions, communities and career events across Canada.

Indspire has multiple applications deadlines each year. Each process consists of 4 key phases: promotion, application, processing, awarding and reporting.

For more information, visit Indspire.

Stream 2: training for community-based workers, including health managers

Aim: to provide community-based workers and health managers with training to improve the quality and consistency of healthcare services provided in First Nations and Inuit communities.

Type of training:

For more information, please contact your nearest regional office.

How it is delivered: AHHRI provides $1.5 million annually for this stream. It is implemented in 7 regions: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic and the Northern region. (AHHRI funds were transferred to BC as part of the BC Tripartite Agreement).

First Nations and Inuit Health Branch regions identify regional training requirements and priorities in consultation with First Nations and Inuit partners. Regions receive funding through the Management Operational Planning Process and support regional program staff or First Nations or Inuit organizations to implement approved training projects.

From 2010 to 2015, AHHRI funded the training of approximately 450 community-based workers, including health managers, in areas such as addictions, mental health, early childhood education and diabetes.

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