Wilf Adam, former chief of the Lake Babine First Nation has been appointed to the board of directors of Northern Health.
Adam is among more than a dozen new members who were appointed to health authority boards across the province at the end of December.
“I think it’s very good for the Northern community especially in that area [where] there’s low representation. I’ll do the best I can do in regards to the northern region,” he told Lakes District News.
He and Patricia Sterritt – of the Gitga’at Nation at Hartley Bay – are the two Indigenous members of the new board.
In his new role Adam has three key goals: seeing that an in-depth study is done on why cancer is spiking in the region, dealing with illegal drug use among both natives and non-natives and improving access to healthcare.
“Sometimes it takes two days just to get [a doctor’s] appointment whereas in the south it takes only a half hour or less…I want to make that point really strong to the provincial government. We need to do something with that.”
In the almost-30 years he worked for the Lake Babine Nation – 17 of which were as chief – Adam pushed to bring better physicians, equipment and health professionals, and specific surgeons to the area.
“I hope to push that further now,” he added.
Adam also worked for the British Columbia Treaty Commission for 12 years and is a co-founder of the Burns Lake Law Centre.
His term on the board lasts until December, 2020.