The Four Arrows Regional Health Authority Inc. has been given the responsibility by the four Chiefs of the Island Lake Tribal Council Inc. to; “Attend to all matters that affect and support the health conditions and services of the four Island Lake communities”.
The following Mission Statement was adopted by the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority Board in October of 2003:
As a regional organization created and governed by the four Island Lake First Nations and working and working cooperatively with their community health services, we strive to improve health conditions and health services in Island Lake.
By Tribal Council resolution in 1999 and by subsequent management arrangements, the Board of Directors of the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority Inc. has been delegated full responsibilities to govern Island Lake regional health services and as such is the employing authority. The management of personnel has been assigned, by the Board, to the Executive Director.
It is the intent of the Board and Management to create and maintain a working environment where:
It is expected that personnel policies and management actions will always strive to balance the need for work productivity with the personal and family needs of staff. It is also expected that these personnel policies will support policies in place in the four communities’ health services, while at the same time specific differences will be acknowledged and respected.
These policies are to be accessible to staff, management and the Board at all times and all parties are encouraged to propose change to them as a need for change in identified. Final interpretation of policies will be the responsibility of the Executive Director, but the Board will act as an appeal body should any staff member feel the policies are being improperly administered.
Four Arrows Regional Health Authority (FARHA) is a regional organization created and governed by the four Island Lake First Nations that works cooperatively with their community health services, striving to improve health conditions and health services in the Island Lake region. FARHA has a supportive network with the four Island Lake communities health centres, including Garden Hill First Nation, St. Theresa Point First Nation, Red Sucker Lake First Nation and Wasagamack First Nation. The local wellness workers in these communities carry out Northern Healthy Food Initiative (NHFI) programming and promote gardening. They outreach to the community members through the radio to ask each year what kind of programming they want including the types of plants. This community outreach has resulted in a lot of education and enthusiasm for the NHFI program at the community level. Initially, health centres started community gardens, which popularized household gardens. A number of local gardeners are keen to build greenhouses. FARHA applies its agriculture technology dollars to get a Northern Manitoba greenhouse and gardening expert located in Thompson to visit each community in the spring to improve the soil and maintain the rototillers to ensure that they make the best use of existing resources and enlists the health centre staff to support this work. FARHA has developed expertise on building soil with local materials like peat or flying in “turkey trot” [soil enricher] rather than flying in bags of soil to remote communities at high freight rates.