First Nations Health Benefits has expanded infant eligibility to 24 months. This will give families more time to apply to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) for status numbers for their children.
Children up to 24 months of age are now able to access their benefits using an eligible parent or guardian’s status number. Children older than 24 months (two years old) are required to use their own status number when accessing benefits.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is working to make it easier for clients to access Health Benefits. Prior to this change, children without a status number could only access benefits until they reached 18 months of age.
Parents and guardians of newborns are encouraged to start status registration immediately after birth. This will ensure that there are no gaps in benefit coverage.
If you need help with status registration, contact your Band Office or visit the ISC website.
BLUEBERRY RIVER FIRST NATION
June 10, 2020
Earlier today, a group of three Blueberry River First Nation Councillors purported to hold a council meeting at which the issue of my removal from office was considered. According to media reports, individuals present at the meeting are claiming that I have been removed as Chief.
The process adopted by these three councillors in their attempt to remove me from office is illegal and contravenes the express provisions of our Custom Election Code. There was no legal authority for the meeting held today on a mere 24 hours notice, and any vote or decision taken is of no legal force and effect. Our Code was approved by a majority of Blueberry members and sets out a very specific process that must be followed for these kinds of matters. It was carefully designed to provide for good governance and accountability by council, as well as fairness to council members. These councillors have disregarded this member-approved process, and have deliberately chosen to take their own arbitrary action in violation of the Code. I have not even been provided with a copy of the petition, nor has there been any opportunity to verify the signatures as the Code requires. There is nothing fair or democratic in what the three councillors attempted to do today.
The media is also reporting on certain statements made at the meeting today which are untrue and defamatory. I am seeking legal advice and will be pursuing that issue in due course.
I remain the Chief of the Blueberry River First Nation and will continue to serve in that capacity in the best interests of our Nation. I am profoundly disappointed that certain of our elected officials would put their own political aspirations ahead of the Nation. These unlawful actions are creating considerable uncertainty and putting the Nation’s interests at risk, including the hard fought Treaty Land Entitlement settlement negotiations.
I will be issuing a further statement in the coming days.
Chief Marvin Yahey