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December 11, 2000

Province / Health Authority Sign Aboriginal Employment Partnership Agreement

Building an Aboriginal Health Care Workforce

An agreement to work together to increase Aboriginal representation in all sectors and at all levels of the health care workforce in Winnipeg was signed today by the Honourable Eric Robinson, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs and Patti Sullivan, Board Chair, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

The Manitoba departments of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Health and Education will work together with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, industry partners and employers looking to fill shortages with qualified staff.

"Aboriginal and Northern Affairs is pleased to partner with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in exploring opportunities to increase the representation of Aboriginal people in the health care workforce," said Minister Eric Robinson. "This partnership should result in significant increases in Aboriginal employment in this and other sectors, and all Manitobans will benefit from the outcome."

Board Chair Patti Sullivan added, "One of our key mission statements is to have a Health Authority in Winnipeg with adequate numbers of qualified staff to meet the needs of the population, and a diversity of staff to represent and reflect the cultures of the people who rely on Winnipeg's health services. It is through agreements such as this that we will be able to see that vision fulfilled."

The official signing of the Agreement, held at Thunderbird House, marks a commitment to move forward with work that is underway. The Health Authority has formed the Aboriginal Human Resources Stakeholder's Circle, which includes representatives from employers, unions, government, education, and the Aboriginal community. Work is underway as each group is defining their respective roles and objectives as part of a single, integrated strategy.

The Health Authority also announced the appointments of Dr. Catherine Cook as Regional Director of Aboriginal Services and Katherine Morriseau-Sinclair as Manager of the Aboriginal Human Resources Initiative.

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