Gathering Wisdom forums – held every 18 months – manifest the commitments within the Tripartite BC First Nations Health Plan that underpin the transformation of health and wellness for First Nations in BC.

Leadership message about the 10-Year Strategy from the FNHC Chair and Deputy Chair.

FAQs / Frequently Asked Questions

What does my community need to know about the Gathering Wisdom forum this year? 

 The Gathering Wisdom forum in 2023 will feature discussions on health and wellness including mental health specifically as we gather in-person for the first time since before the pandemic. This First Nations Health Council (FNHC)-hosted gathering is an opportunity for Chiefs, leaders, Health Directors and wellness leads to hear updates and engage in discussions with the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA) and other health system and government partners. 

Chiefs, leaders and Health directors will have the opportunity to review and discuss a Ten-Year Strategy on the Social Determinants of Health. The strategy is intended to improve mental health and wellness for BC First Nations, in a way that supports and enables the implementation of Nation- based health and wellness plans. 

Why is it important that Chiefs attend the Gathering Wisdom forum?

 As decision-makers, it is important that Chiefs have information to support the health and wellness work they do in community. The Gathering Wisdom forum is an important part of the health governance process. It is an opportunity to provide Chiefs with an update on progress and discuss future directions for the health governance structure that we as BC First Nations have established. 

At the end of the three-day session, Chiefs will be asked to vote on a resolution approving a Ten- Year Strategy on the Social Determinants of Health. 

Who is hosting the Gathering Wisdom forum? 

Gathering Wisdom is hosted by the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), a provincial-level political and advocacy organization that is representative of and accountable to, BC First Nations. 

The FNHC is part of a unique health governance structure that includes the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA). Collectively, this First Nations health governance structure works to improve the health outcomes of First Nations people in BC. Please visit the FNHC website to learn more about us. 

Can I meet with the FNHA to discuss health programs? 

Yes. There will be multiple opportunities to talk with the FNHA throughout the three-day forum. We will be hosting a series of information sessions to ensure communities get the information they need on health programs. In addition, we will ensure senior representatives of the FNHA are available to meet with leaders and health leads on the specific interests of their community. More information will be made available on this in the coming month.

Who is invited to attend? 

Similar to the Regional Caucuses, we are pleased to invite three (3) representatives from each First Nation community in BC. This includes:

  1. Political (e.g. Chief or Proxy) 
  2. Health Lead (e.g. Health Director, Community Health Representative, or Health Portfolio Holder on Council) 
  3. Social Lead (e.g. Social Development Director, Social Development Worker, or Children and Family Worker) 
How do I register?

To register, please visit GW Xll Registration

Will accommodations be booked for attendees? 

Attendees are responsible for booking their own accommodations at one of the three selected hotels. Rooms have been held at Pan Pacific, Fairmont Vancouver, and Fairmont Waterfront. Booking instructions are included on the registration page. 

What is the ‘social lead’ category on registration?

As the discussion on the social determinants of health is broader than health services, we want to include representatives that have responsibility for health and social services in their community. A ‘social lead’ may include, but is not limited to, a band manager, social development director, social development worker, social worker, or children and family worker. These are examples – each community should select the most appropriate representative to attend for their community. 

Will there be a regional procession? 

Yes. We encourage all attendees to bring their drums and regalia to participate in a regional procession to be held on the first day. 

Will there be an opportunity to attend virtually? 

Yes. The plenary sessions and regional meetings will be available virtually to the three approved attendees per community. There will be an opportunity to ask questions using a chat feature, however open dialogue will not be possible with those joining virtually due to the scale of the event. 

How does my community get reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs? 

Travel expense reimbursement forms can be downloaded here.

Participants must submit travel expense claims for reimbursement, no later than 30 calendar days following the end of the month in which the expenses were incurred – except for the final month of the fiscal year (March 31) when claims must be submitted within two working days of the fiscal year-end.

Claims submitted outside these time limits may result in an adjustment to the reimbursement amount, or unpaid claims will be returned to sender with a letter of explanation.

For the purposes of Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey 2023 and further to the above statement, travel expense claims must be submitted no later than March 31, 2023. Submit all travel claims to:

Will there be other activities throughout the three day forum? 

Yes. There will be a variety of wellness services open to all invited attendees to access, including traditional and cultural practices. In addition, a limited number of artisan vendors will be onsite offering products for sale. 

PREVIOUS EVENTS / Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey

On January 14-16th, 2020 Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey X, hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, celebrated the ten year milestone of Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey.

We invite you to watch the welcome video from Gathering Wisdom X in January 2020 which celebrates our history of reclaiming health and wellness for First Nations in BC.

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey V

Summary Report

Video Gallery

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IV

Summary Report

Video Gallery

CONTACT US / We'd love to hear from you

If you have any questions regarding registering for the forum, please fill in the form below or email

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