AMC Concerned About the Escalating Crisis of Nurse Shortages in First Nations

April 4, 2023

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) expresses disappointment in the ongoing nursing shortage crisis in northern and isolated reserves in Manitoba.

First Nations citizens are being turned away from nursing stations without adequate diagnosis and assessment due to ongoing nurse shortages in First Nations. “This is a humanitarian crisis,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “There are very few federally run nursing stations in remote First Nations, and they are only open for emergencies. Many First Nations citizens are already travelling long distances to get health care, which risks their health. This shortage of nurses will result in even fewer services being available in those First Nations.”

Nursing stations are chronically understaffed and overworked. The Manitoba government claims to have met with northern health region officials and service providers to discuss how to keep nursing stations open. However, the situation continues to worsen, and we continue to lose nurses at an alarming rate. Providing First Nations with the direct authority to recruit and retain nurses without the involvement of other levels of government would help end this crisis. 

“Consider Health Canada’s compensation policies as an example of how the lack of First Nations authority has deterred nurses from working in remote First Nations,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “There have been critical staffing shortages at nursing stations across Manitoba that has previously been declared a state of emergency by First Nations leaders. We must address this ongoing crisis as soon as possible for First Nations people’s safety, well-being, and overall health.”

For more information, please contact:

Communications Team

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs


About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.