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About Us

“Health Directors are the voice of their community — this Centre expands capacity-building programs and resources that are created through the wisdom and experience of Health Directors.”

Keith Marshall

President FNHDA Board,
member CIHL Board

Our Purpose

The Centre for Indigenous Health Leadership is an independent post-secondary institution and is supported by the three co-equal partners of the First Nations Health Governance Structure in BC – the First Nations Health Directors, First Nations Health Authority and First Nations Health Council.

We believe that compassionate, culturally-grounded leaders in health and wellness are essential for building strong, self-determining First Nations.

Through learning programs and partnerships, we are creating Indigenous health leadership capacity for Nation-building and healthy, self-determining communities.

Two women facing each other

Our Story

The Centre was realized through the vision of First Nations Health Directors working across the province, who expressed a need for culturally-relevant learning opportunities that would support and build capacity for the important role and responsibilities that Indigenous health leaders hold in community health and wellness.

The voice of Health Directors reflects the voice of our communities, and is central to the transformation of health service delivery in First Nations in BC. As co-creators and learners in our first programs, their perspectives and experiences are woven through the curriculum and culture.

Indigenous designed and led, the Centre integrates learning from a decade of Indigenous health design and practice in Canada’s only First Nations health governance model. Together with our partners, we are building a learning culture that is rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing, learning and leading, to build strong, self-determining communities and Nations.

Woman holding a microphone, speaking


The Centre is supported by the three co-equal partners of the First Nations Health Governance Structure in BC.

White logo of the First Nations Health Authority
White logo of the First Nations Health Directors Association
White logo of the First Nations Health Council

Our Values

The six shared values of the First Nations Health Governance structure ground our work and are infused in all we do: Respect, Culture, Relationships, Excellence, Fairness and Discipline.

A Day in the Life of a Health Director

Health Directors are individuals who guide and manage a myriad of health and wellness services for their First Nation communities in both urban settings and rural and remote locations across BC.

Learn about Health Directors

Seven Standards of Excellence

The FNHDA Standards of Excellence is a standardized list of proficiencies for First Nations Health Directors in BC. Every community’s health team has different abilities, levels of resources, opportunities, and challenges – and as such, these Standards are meant to be seen as ideal aspirations for community health leads.

See the Seven Standards or Excellence

Head to Heart

First Nation Health Directors play a tremendous role in helping others access the care they need to stay well. Head to Heart is a way to help our health directors stay well and balanced with work and life, and provide support for their success in improving the health care system and their communities.

Find resources at Head to Heart

“Our collective work in healing is expanded with CIHL’s grounding in First Nation traditions and cultures to reclaim our perspectives on health and wellness for communities in BC.”

Wade Grant,

Chair, First Nations Health Council, member CIHL Board


The Centre is guided by the following administrative and academic policies.


The Centre for Indigenous Health Leadership is an independent post-secondary institution regulated by the Private Training Institutions Branch within the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. Our governance structure is in development and will be finalized soon. Its independent board will include representation from the FNHDA, FNHA and FNHC, among others.