ST JOHNS – HEALTH – Partners addressing priority cancer control gaps with and for First Nations, Inuit, Métis communities across Canada are gathering in St. John’s to highlight progress being made in an initiative funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer that will help reduce the cancer burden for these communities and improve the cancer experience for patients.
The forum comes as the Partnership facilitates new work to improve integration of traditional health supports and western models of care with and for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
“A key focus of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Action Plan on Cancer Control is the advancement of culturally responsive resources and services, including improved collaboration with traditional practices and knowledge keepers,” said Elisa Levi, Director, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Strategy at the Partnership. “To improve the cultural relevance of cancer control activities, it is essential that those working in cancer control understand that First Nations, Inuit and Métis trust and value their traditional health practices, which are often integral to their health care decisions.”
The goal is to build a repository of existing models of integrating traditional supports, including an in-depth look at 10 models that will help illustrate the resources required and the system changes or relationships that are crucial to incorporating traditional supports.
The forum will feature a keynote address by Dr. Jason Pennington, a surgeon dedicated to incorporating Indigenous health issues and values into medical training. He is currently the Curricular co-Lead for Indigenous Health Education at the University of Toronto and the Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead for Cancer Care Ontario’s Central East Regional Cancer Program.
Other speakers include Dr. James Makokis, who serves on the Board of the Aboriginal Wisdom Committee of Alberta Health Services; Annie Buchan, Vice-President at Pauktuutit, the national non-profit organization representing Inuit women in Canada; Tanya Davoran, Director of Health at the Métis Nation British Columbia, Alison Palmer of CAREX Canada; and Brandy Pantel, Health Educator with Cancer Care Manitoba’s Breast Check program.
In its first year, the Partnership’s First Nations, Inuit, Métis Cancer Control Initiative funded a variety of multi-year projects to improve the patient journey. In Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, community profiles will be used by the cancer system and community clinics to support patient transitions to address the challenges of geographical isolation.
For more information about the work of our First Nations, Inuit and Métis initiative, visit cancerview.ca.