British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said the province is giving $9.5 million to the First Nations leadership council to improve First Nations health.
Mr. Campbell told the opening of the First Nations health forum in Vancouver on Tuesday that the government has appointed Dr. Evan Adams as British Columbia's first aboriginal health physician adviser.
The government is delivering on its commitment to work towards closing the health gap between First Nations and non-First Nations, Mr. Campbell said.
First Nations Summit Grand Chief Edward John said the appointment of Dr. Adams and the funding is a good start.
He said long-term success in closing the health gaps will require sustained political will and collaboration among all parties involved.
The B.C. government said the announcements build on the First Nations health plan and the memorandum of understanding signed in November 2006 between the B.C. government, the First Nations leadership council and the federal government.
About 300 people are attending the First Nations health forum Tuesday and Wednesday.