The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer acknowledges that colonial practices and policies continue to impact the well-being of generations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, organizations and communities are leading the work that will result in improved well-being with the development and implementation of Peoples-specific, self-determined solutions. Supporting this work is key to sustainable system change and to closing the gaps in cancer care and outcomes between First Nations, Inuit and Métis and other people in Canada.
We are committed to working in a reconciliatory way with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to improve the cancer system by:
- Implementing the TRC’s Calls to Action
- Supporting self-determined, regional and Peoples-specific priorities in the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control
- Supporting partners in their efforts to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and families
- Encouraging an organization-wide approach to implementing the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control guided by First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments, organizations, advisors and partners and supported by on-going, mandatory cultural competency training for Partnership staff
Principles of engagement
Our work is guided by the following Principles of Engagement, which were co-created with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Elders, advisors and partners.
The Partnership’s work is currently guided by a First Nations, an Inuit and a Métis Advisor as recommended by the former National Indigenous Organization Caucus which included representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council.
The Partnership works with:
- Lea Bill, First Nations Advisor to the work
- Gail Turner, Inuit Advisor to the work
- Lily Amagoalik, Inuit Advisor to the work
- Susie Hooper, Métis Advisor to the work
In addition to these Advisors, one position on the Partnership’s Board of Directors is held for an Indigenous Board Member at Large. The position rotates between a First Nations, Inuit and Métis representative:
- Dr. Katherine Chubbs (2021 – current)
- Cheryl Smith (2018 – 2021)
- Gail Turner (2014-2018)
- Evan Adams (2011-2014)
- Catherine Cook (2008-2011)
- Lindsay Crowshoe (2007-2008)
Together, the Advisors and Board member provide advice and guidance to the work of the Partnership.
Building capacity for reconciliation
In 2015, the Partnership was called to action by the TRC. To support the journey towards reconciliation, a capacity building approach for the Partnership’s staff and executive team was developed in collaboration with an Indigenous Health Supports working group, consisting of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Elders, knowledge keepers, healthcare providers and cancer survivors.
Our approach aims to build cultural competence and support cultural safety through:
- Mandatory staff workshops and presentations designed with and delivered by First Nations, Inuit and Métis colleagues and partners, and efforts to align with organizational Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives
- Individual accountability through the inclusion of deliverables and competencies in annual performance plans
- Staff onboarding resources and training
- Orientation and cultural awareness training for members of the Partnership’s Board of Directors
- Resources, stories and emerging news curated and made available to all Partnership staff
- Direct collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to embed Peoples-specific priorities in program work
- Supporting partners to design and implement cultural competency training in their jurisdictions
- Recognition of National Indigenous History Month in June and celebrating relationships with partners:
- Creating awareness and providing educational opportunities to staff to enhance their understanding of Indigenous history – virtual opportunities to engage with First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture and refresher on appropriate language considerations with respect to working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis
- Highlighting Indigenous artists and presenting their work as awards each year at the Shining Star Awards
- Encouraging staff to support Indigenous businesses for personal and professional purchases (e.g. supporting Indigenous vendors for Orange Shirt Day)
- Sponsoring the biannual Indigenous Health Conference hosted by the University of Toronto
The ongoing evolution and focus of capacity building at the Partnership is guided by our First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners and the Peoples-specific priorities and actions of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.