Health Authorities

In this section:

This has been one of the most helpful educational experiences in my career!
— B.C.
I think this is something that I will carry forward with me no matter what work or possible future position I may hold down the line.
— E.J.
I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.
— K.B.
Having the ability to at the very least recognize that my way of doing things or "the way things are done" is not the only way.
— K.B.
It shook my foundation.
— K.B.
It challenged my view of myself.
— K.B.
It was a course that had an impact on my personal life.
— K.B.
I am a better person for having been involved in it.
— K.B.
I will look more closely at my own world views and values to determine how these notions shape my understanding and interactions with indigenous clients and clients of different backgrounds.
— A.K.
I have drawn on this course material already in my practice and it has helped me feel more comfortable when Aboriginal clients talk about spiritual/cultural beliefs.
— L.S.
The information reinforced and strengthened my practice with Aboriginal people.
— L.S.
It already has shifted the way I engage with clients in terms of learning new ways to ask questions and I have brought up this training and concepts learned from it in our practice council and have encourage others to participate in it.
— R.O.
Awesome program. I realize through this training that I have so much more to learn.
— K.Y.
I see it as ongoing learning that contributes to my learning and will continue to influence my relationships with aboriginal people and organizations in my work and in my life.
— J.M.
I enjoyed the facilitator's responses and how she was very open and understanding to our responses.
— R.M.
I felt very comfortable throughout and not judged for my feelings and thoughts.
— R.M.
The list of "do's" and "don'ts" was the best compiled list I've ever seen for working with First Nation's people. I will be using this list in my work from now on.
— G.M.
The amount of information was incredible. The facilitators are so knowledgeable and helpful. The course has made me so much more aware of issues faced by Aboriginal people now and the historical context of the experiences they encounter.
— V.S.
The context from which Aboriginal people come has been such an eye-opener.
— V.S.
The quality of the content was fabulous.
— C.F.
The course was non-judgemental & didn't tell me what I was doing was wrong.
— C.F.
The course showed me a better way and provided insight into some of my current thinking and actions.
— C.F.
It will help me provide more in-depth analysis in research and writing about health inequities and how the social determinants of health produce differential outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. All too often, I think I just make over-generalized statements about how Aboriginal health and well-being is disproportionate to non-Aboriginal health and well-being, without really explaining why or how that came to be the case. Also, I often lump "disadvantaged" populations (women, Aboriginals, and visible minorities) in one group, but because of this training, I will give more thought and analysis to each group individually - because they are inherently different and deserve appropriate care/attention.
— J.D.
I did some study during my degree but I learned more in these short modules that I ever had before.
— J.W.
It is one thing to learn about stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and racism, it is another to see what it would be like to be the recipient of this in a clinical setting where respectful medical assistance should be the norm.
— L.M.
We have made 'Hand Washing' modules compulsory, but what could be more meaningful than ensuring that all health professionals are expected to have at least a basic understanding of cultural competency and how to make their practice meaningful. I was particularly impressed by this course's ability to bring history alive and demonstrate how colonization continues to affect indigenous health today. Thank you so much for the opportunity to take this course!!
— S.H.
I want everyone I work with to do this course - it is outstanding! I already felt like I had a lot of knowledge around Aboriginal issues, but this course weaves information together so effectively and I learned many new things.
— S.H.
Thank you so much for this wonderful course on Indigenous cultural competency! I really appreciate all the help, encouragement, and effort from the course facilitators! I wish I had started this course earlier so that I would have more time to process the information! But in any case, this is probably by far the most helpful and informative training on cultural competency that I have ever attended! I thank all the course developers, facilitators, and Vancouver Coastal Health for this wonderful experience! I look forward to more training on aboriginal cultural competency in the near future!
— C.C.
This was a very insightful training and I highly recommend it for anyone and think that more people that don't work with First Nations should take. I am first nations and didn't know about the history and it has changed my outlook. I think everyone should take this training!!
— L.L.
I thought it was absolutely invaluable. I learned more participating in this online course then many other courses I had previously been part of. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I gained so much information and knowledge that I will take with me forever!
— R.T
Mostly, I had an honest look at my own thoughts and beliefs and where I need to make changes within myself. I also became aware of changes that need to be made in offices and working with aboriginal and non-aboriginal clients. (i.e: intake process, intake paperwork, outreach, etc)
— R.T.
I have also found it extremely enlightening and it has really deepened my awareness. Pleasantly surprised at how useful and educational it has been. I’m going to recommend to my principal that all of our staff should do it. Thanks for the opportunity!
— S.W.

Vancouver Coastal Health

The following are resources available in Vancouver Coastal Health:

Vancouver Coastal Health is implementing a comprehensive Aboriginal Health and Wellness Plan under the direction of the Aboriginal Health Strategic Initiatives team. The Aboriginal Health and Wellness Plan for 2008-2011, seeks to establish an integrated and coordinated approach to improve the health of Aboriginal people and to understand the diversity of the cultural and needs of the Aboriginal communities. A key component of the Plan is to increase the cultural competency of the organization. A variety of strategic initiatives are underway to improve cultural competency including the PHSA on-line orientation program for staff, a series of cultural competency forums and the introduction of an Aboriginal Patient Navigator program and the Aboriginal Wellness Program. Additionally, Vancouver Coastal Health has many Aboriginal specific contracted services throughout its service delivery.  


To access more information regarding the Aboriginal Strategic Initiatives Aboriginal Wellness Plan and our cultural competency forums, community engagement series, and Aboriginal advisory teams please click here
To view videos from the VCH Aboriginal Cultural Competency forum, 2010, please click here:

As part of our overall cultural competency plan for Vancouver Coastal Health, we are currently in the process of creating a list of all the work regarding cultural competent practices that are being done around the regions in Vancouver Coastal Health. Please look here for updated information.

Aboriginal Patient Navigator Program

The Aboriginal Patient Navigator program is designed to assist patients in VCH facilities such as hospitals to better access cultural appropriate care and services. This may include helping to access special programs, providing staff with information on cultural appropriate care or assisting in discharge planning for patients who may limited community support.

Aboriginal Health Services Vancouver (AHS V)

Our urban Aboriginal Health Services supports a culturally safe framework where cultural practices are seen as meaningful and vital aspects of wellness and the person receiving care is the judge of what constitutes relevant health care.  We seek on-going consultation with Aboriginal communities on how Aboriginal cultural values and beliefs can inform our health case service delivery for Aboriginal people.

Direct Service

The Aboriginal Wellness Program (AWP) is a direct service of Aboriginal Health Services and is designed to increase access and continuity of care in a way that meets the worldview and needs of Vancouver’s Aboriginal population.

Aboriginal Health Practice Council

The VCH Aboriginal Health Practice Council works collaboratively with Aboriginal community members and health care practitioners to develop and implement best health care practices, including both mainstream medical practices and Aboriginal Healing ways. Our aim is to increase positive health care access and outcomes for Aboriginal people by building culturally safe, informed and relevant health care.

Companion Document

This document gives a brief introduction of historical and current contexts that outline some of the key components shaping health standards for Aboriginal people and provides links for more in-depth information.
Click here to open document.

Traditional Medicine Brochure

This pamphlet provides a brief introduction to some of the plant medicines that are used by Aboriginal people.
Click here to open document.