Six Alberta First Nations, including the Blood Tribe, are each receiving $50,000 from the provincial government to explore ways to reduce surgical wait times.

The grants will be used to complete a needs assessment and business case to determine if a chartered surgical facility would be a good fit for their community.

The facilities would offer publicly funded surgeries for people on and off reserve.

Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson says having surgical suites in First Nations communities opens new possibilities for better access to health care while bringing jobs and the spin-off economic benefits.

The province says these chartered surgical facilities will also free up space in hospitals for more complex procedures and in turn reduce waiting times.