This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

Last week, representatives from the Council of Yukon First Nations, Government of Yukon, Yukon First Nations governments, the Chiefs Committee on Health, and the Health Transformation Advisory Committee visited Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska to learn about successful ways to work together to transform health care. The foundation is one of the world’s leading experts in health system transformation.

During the visit, Yukon officials learned from the Native-owned healthcare organization about the Nuka System of Care developed by the foundation. The system supports almost 70,000 Alaska Native and American Indian customer-owners with taking control of their health and wellness. The system is guided by the values and preferences of the customers and takes care to prioritize their health needs.

The organization’s success in building relationships, integrating care teams and shared decision-making with Indigenous communities offered valuable lessons that will support the group’s work in implementing the recommendations of the Putting People First report and the creation of Yukon’s new health authority, Shä̀w Kwä̀ ’a/Health and Wellness Yukon/ Santé et mieux-être Yukon.


The Nuka System of Care offers community-centered and Indigenous-led approaches to working with partners to create meaningful healthcare transformation. While the Yukon context is unique, the opportunity to learn from the foundation will aid in evolving the structures and relationships needed to deliver collaborative, culturally-safe and inclusive health care and social services.

– Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

The Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care in Alaska serves as an inspiring model to inform what is possible as we approach transformation of our healthcare system in the Yukon. By placing Alaska Native people at the center as ‘customer-owners,’ this system demonstrates the power of self-determination in health care. Let us learn from their vision, mission, and operational principles to prioritize physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness in reimagining healthcare in the Yukon.

– Pauline Frost, Chair Chiefs Committee on Health

Quick facts

  • Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka System of Care is a relationship-based, customer-owned approach to transforming health care, improving outcomes and reducing costs.
  • The term “customer-owner” in the context of healthcare refers to individuals who receive healthcare services. In this model, patients are viewed not just as passive recipients of care but as active participants and stakeholders in their own health.
  • The Putting People First report was the result of an independent review of the Yukon’s health and social system. It provides a roadmap for transforming the health and social system to better meet the needs of Yukoners.
  • A foundational recommendation in the report is to establish a health authority for the Yukon, called Health and Wellness Yukon, that will deliver most day-to-day health and social services.
  • The report envisions a future high-performing, integrated, person-centred health and social system where systemic racism is addressed, Yukoners are connected to a primary care team, services are connected and culturally safe, care is closer to home, prevention is a primary focus and communities and people with lived experiences are involved.

Related information


  • In 2020, the Putting People First report provided an independent comprehensive review of the Yukon’s health and social services system. A key recommendation of the 2020 Putting People First was to ensure representation of Yukon First Nations in all levels of the health care system to improve health and wellness outcomes for individuals and communities.
  • The Government of Yukon, Yukon First Nations Governments and senior officials are jointly championing health and social services system transformation in the territory. These committees are working to set the structure and leadership required to advance reconciliation in our health and social services system.   
  • The Health Transformation Advisory Committee is a working committee helps to ensure that Yukon First Nations values and interests are embedded into the Yukon’s new health authority, which will be the vehicle to drive health system transformation forward. It is necessary to include First Nations perspectives in this work.
  • The Chiefs’ Committee on Health will provide guidance and oversight to the Health Transformation Advisory Committee. The committee provides a mechanism to situate Yukon First Nations within the governance structure for Putting People First to provide advisory services and facilitate collaboration between the Yukon government and Yukon First Nations governments.


Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Kim Sheridan

Lael Lund
Communications, Council of Yukon First Nations