The Northern Human Services Partnership (NHSP), also known as the Northern Regional Intersectoral Committee (RIC), is one of ten Regional Intersectoral Committees in the the Province of Saskatchewan. Originally founded in the mid-nineties, the NHSP consists of leadership from human service provider organizations within the Northern Administration District (NAD). The membership of the NHSP works to provide a collaborative approach to northern human services. It is the goal of the NHSP that this collaborative approach will result in strong, healthier people, families and communities with well-functioning agencies who work to improve northern quality of life.
The NHSP serves the Northern Administration District (NAD) from approximately the fifty-fourth parallel to the borders of Manitoba, Alberta and the North-West Territories. The NHSP region represents 46% of the geographical area of Saskatchewan and has a population of roughly 40,000 residents in over seventy communities, both on and off reserve. Of this total population, 85% of northern residents identify themselves as Aboriginal and approximately 46% live in First Nations communities.
The following information is taken from the 2011 Northern Saskatchewan Health Indicators Report which is published every five (5) years by the Population Health Unit and from Early Childhood Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Education.
In 2010, 32% of the population within the NHSP region was under 15 years of age. Only 4.5% was over the age of 65;
The northern birth rate is almost double the provincial rate.
Pre-Natal and Early Childhood
Between 2007 and 2011, 53.8% of pregnant mothers reported smoking during pregnancy.
Education and Employment
The proportion of the northern population ages 25-29 years who completed high-school was 46% in 2006, which is substancially lower than the provincial rate of 80%;
The long-term unemployment rate is over four (4) time the provincial rate and there is a growing potential work-force.
Housing and Cost of Living
The NHSP region median income was less than 60% of the provincial median income in 2006;
The cost of healthy food has remained substancially higher in northern Saskatchewan compared to locations in southern Saskatchewan;
Housing issues include nearly four (4) times the proportion of homes requiring major repair, and over ten (10) times the rate of crowding compared to provincial rates;
Crime rates are higher in northern Saskatchewan than across the province;
Suicides make up 25% of injury deaths in northern Saskatchewan with rates three (3) times as high as in the province.
It is the goal of the NHSP to engage stakeholders and work collectively to address these social challenges and take positive steps together to improve the lives of northerners.