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Canadian Public Health Association

Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

CPHA is committed to working with all First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and their governments in realizing meaningful truth and reconciliation.

Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee

The Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee provides strategic advice related to how the Association can fulfill its role in addressing the historic and contemporary health inequities faced by Indigenous communities.

Membership

CPHA Members-at-large

  • Gabriella Emery
  • Sheri McKinstry
  • Michelle Mousseau Bailey

External Representatives

  • Margo Greenwood, Assembly of First Nations
  • Eduardo Vides, Métis National Council

CPHA Board Members (observers)

  • Richard Musto
  • Nancy Laliberté
  • Benita Cohen

Terms of Reference

Purpose

The Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee will support CPHA in fulfilling its role as a trusted advocate for public health that works towards addressing the historic and contemporary health inequities faced by Indigenous communities. Based on the direction provided by the Committee, CPHA will implement organizational transformation that includes Indigenous people and perspectives in all aspects of CPHA’s work, especially its public health advocacy. To help the Association be an influential and guiding voice that includes Indigenous perspectives on public health issues, the Committee will provide CPHA with direction in the development of:

  • A clear, long-term vision for ongoing engagement with Indigenous people, organizations, and communities on public health issues [and incorporating an Indigenous worldview in its work]
  • A model for enacting principles to guide how it works in a culturally safe way with Indigenous communities
  • A governance model that supports  the inclusion of Indigenous participation in decision-making processes including mechanisms that enable Indigenous input into the CPHA policy alternative development process, and
  • Internal policies that guide its decision-making processes in regard to the previous points.

Objectives
The objectives of the Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee are to:

  1. Clarify and define a long-term goal for CPHA’s relationship with Indigenous people, organizations, and communities
  2. Establish guiding principles for CPHA’s engagement with Indigenous people, leadership, organizations, and communities
  3. Explore the options for fostering cultural safety and humility within CPHA
  4. Recommend internal policies that will direct CPHA’s actions in this respect, and
  5. Recommend (as appropriate) modifications to CPHA’s governance model that will provide ongoing support for CPHA’s actions in this regard.

Reporting
The Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee will report to the Board of Directors through the Committee Chair.

Accountability
To ensure a transparency, the recommendations of the Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee will be published on CPHA’s website accompanied by a record of the Board of Directors’ discussion and decisions regarding each recommendation. In any case where a recommendation is amended or not otherwise fully implemented by the Board of Directors, a thorough rationale for its decision must also be published.

Membership
The Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee will have a maximum of seven (7) voting members.

The decision-making members of the Committee include:

  • Four (4) CPHA members-in-good-standing who identify as Indigenous as selected by the Board based on the recommendation of the Committee, in consultation with the Executive Director, and
  • Three (3) individuals who identify as Indigenous as selected by the Board based on the recommendation of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council (1 nominee per organization);

The Chair of the Committee will be one of the four CPHA members-in-good-standing as chosen by the seven voting members at the first meeting of the Committee.

The observers to the Committee include:

  • One (1) Board member (ideally who identifies as Indigenous), as selected by the CPHA Board of Directors
  • The Chair of the Board of Directors, ex officio, and
  • The Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors, ex officio.

The observers may be asked to leave the any meeting or part thereof at the request of the voting members.

Committee members will be appointed for a two-year term, renewable for a second two-year term. Efforts will be made to have diversity in cultural community of Indigenous representatives, geographic representation, professional discipline, and gender.

Individuals who are experts in a field or proponents of a proposed position may be invited, from time to time, to contribute to specific discussions, provide content expertise as needed, and support the Committee’s decision-making process. Their participation is advisory in nature. Invited guests will be knowledgeable about the issue at hand. A proponent of a proposed position or policy may be invited to attend a meeting of the Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee dedicated to a specific topic.

Membership is on a voluntary basis. No compensation will be made to CPHA members of the Indigenous Relations Advisory Committee, other than reimbursement of actual direct expenses related to attending face-to-face meetings. At the Committee’s discretion, an honorarium may be offered to committee members representing the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council according to the policies and traditions of those organizations.

Duration of the Committee
The Committee has no specific timeframe for its activities.

Meetings
Meetings will be held at least four (4) times each year, or as often as necessary to complete the work of the Committee. Meetings will generally be held by teleconference, with the option of holding a face-to-face meeting as circumstances will allow.

The expectation is that members of the Committee will attend all meetings and every effort will be made to ensure that meetings are scheduled at mutually convenient times and with sufficient notice.

Meeting materials, including agendas and pre-reading, will be circulated no less than one (1) week prior to the scheduled meeting. Members are expected to have reviewed these materials in advance of the meeting.

Budget
The Committee does not have line budgetary responsibility. A standing line item will exist to cover the normal operations of the Committee. Budgets for larger committee projects will follow the financial procedures of CPHA and will be approved by the Board as part of the normal budgeting process.

Quorum and Decision Making
Quorum for the Committee will be a majority of voting members. Decisions of the Committee will be made by consensus. Recommendations will be forwarded to the Board and include a note on any opposing views.

Consensus [working definition for review]
Consensus is a group process where the input of everyone is carefully considered and an outcome is crafted that best meets the needs of the group. It is a process of synthesizing the wisdom of all the participants into the best decision possible at the time. The root of consensus is the word consent, which means to give permission to. When you consent to a decision, you are giving your permission to the group to go ahead with the decision. You may disagree with the decision, but based on listening to everyone else’s input, all the individuals agree to let the decision go forward, because the decision is the best one the entire group can achieve at the current time.

Supports
Staff support for the Committee’s normal operations will be provided by the Executive Director or her/his designate. For special projects, other staffing supports may be necessary; these will be identified and assigned through the regular operational and budget planning processes.

Terms of Reference
These Terms of Reference may be amended at the first meeting by consensus and then ratified by the Board of Directors.

These Terms of Reference may be reviewed annually, or as required, amended by consensus and then ratified by the Board of Directors.