Upstream thinking means focusing on the root causes of well-being. We know that many of these root causes require interventions during our earliest years of life. Unfortunately, children who live on reserve have a far more difficult time accessing the services they need to lead healthy lives.
First Nations Caring Society is an organization that provides research, policy alternatives, and support for First Nations children, youth, and families. One of their current projects is Jordan's Principle:
"Jordan’s Principle is a child first principle named in memory of Jordan River Anderson. Jordan was a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Born with complex medical needs, Jordan spent more than two years unnecessarily in hospital while the Province of Manitoba and the Federal government argued over who should pay for his at home care. Jordan died in hospital at the age of five years old, never having spent a day in a family home.
Payment disputes within and between Federal and Provincial governments over services for First Nations children are not uncommon. First Nations children are frequently left waiting for services they desperately need, or are denied services that are available to other children. This includes services in education, health, childcare, recreation, and culture and language. Jordan's Principle calls on the government of first contact to pay for the services and seek reimbursement later so the child does not get tragically caught in the middle of government red tape. It was unanimously passed in the House of Commons in 2007 but sadly the Canadian Paediatric Society reports that neither the Federal government nor Provinces/Territories have fully implemented Jordan's Principle."