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The First Nations Regional Health Survey, (RHS) is the only First Nations -governed, national health survey in Canada. It collects information about on reserve and northern First Nations communities based on both Western and traditional understandings of health and well-being.
The RHS within the Manitoba region is carried out under the governance, guidance and direction

of the Health Information Research Governance Committee (HIRGC) which serves as our Regional Ethics Board.

The RHS collects information on the following age categories and is currently in its 4th iteration:

Some of the Benefits/programs that have come from the RHS include:


  • Child Survey (0-11 yrs)

  • Youth Survey (12-17 yrs)

  • Adult Survey (18-54 yrs and 55 yrs plus)

  • National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS)

  • Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative

  • Home and Community Care

  • Aboriginal Head Start Program

  • Maternal Child Health


If you would like to access the national reports, please visit:


Within the Manitoba Region, the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) and the Health Information and Research Governance Committee (HIRGC) are mandated to:

  • Provide oversight and guidance to RHS within the Manitoba region

  • Promote the First Nations principles of OCAP™, where First Nations have the right have Ownership, Control, Access and Possession of their own data

  • Work to ensure First Nations are partners in the research process from beginning to end.

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“As Indigenous People we have always done research, always searched for understanding, ways of being and knowing the world around us in order to survive, we just didn’t call it research”

Former Chief Norman Bone, Keeseekoowenin First Nation


The RHS has been successful in:

  • Collecting information about health, education, income, environment and other concerns from First Nations living on reserve across Canada every four to five years since 1997

  • In total, 3,390 surveys (Adult, Youth, and Children combined) were collected from the targeted sample of 4,527 surveys.

  • Estimates derived from the sample are weighted to be representative of the general Manitoba First Nations population on-reserve.


The Regional Health Survey (RHS) was implemented because people living on-reserve and northern communities were left out of 3 national surveys. In 1997, the RHS went into 7 different regions across the country and eventually expanded to include all 10 regions. As a result, a longitudinal design was adopted and began the first phase of the project. The RHS was successfully implemented in three phases; the first being a pilot phase from 1997 to 1998, followed by a standalone RHS from 2002 to 2003, and the third and final phase from 2008 to 2010.

The Manitoba First Nations (MFN) RHS team, under the guidance and support of The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Chiefs Task Force on Health (CTFoH), and the AMC Health Information Research Governance Committee (HIRGC) implemented the 2008-2010 RHS within the Manitoba region. On March 31, 2010, AMC, CTFoH, and the HIRGC wrapped up the data collection phase of the Manitoba First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey.

The locally updated band membership lists were used to randomly select the participants. The Final Report on MFN RHS (2008 – 2010) contained basic descriptive statistics and some analytical statistics about on-reserve Manitoba First Nations peoples. A sample size of 74.9% of the target number was achieved. In order to better understand the needs of each distinct community, adjustments to the data set have been done to reflect the territories being surveyed.


Nation level partnerships:

  • First Nations Information Governance Centre

  • Assembly of First Nations (Ex-Officio)

Regional level partnerships:

  • Union of Nova Scotia Indians

  • Union of New Brunswick Indians

  • First Nation of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission

  • Chiefs of Ontario

  • Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

  • Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations

  • Treaty 7 Management Corporation (for Treaty 6, 7, and 8)

  • First Nations Health Committee (B.C.) (No Rep)

  • Dene National Office

  • Council of Yukon First Nations


Nation participation statistics:

  • 217 First Nation communities

  • 72.5% response rate

  • 21,757 surveys

  • 11,043 adults

  • 4,837 youth

  • 5,877 children

  • 5.3% of total on reserve population (2007)

Regional participation statistics:

  • 34 First Nation communities

  • 74.9% response rate

  • 3,390 surveys

  • 1,739 adults (18-55yrs plus)

  • 757 youth (12-17yrs)

  • 894 children (0-11yrs)

  • 4.34% of total on reserve population (2007)




Administrative Assistant - Community Liaison



Regional Health Survey Coordinator



Data Collection Training Coordinator

Last Updated: 2024-05-31

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