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FNHA and HSO Convene Technical Committee to Develop Cultural Safety and Humility Standard



COAST SALISH TERRITORY – Vancouver, BC – The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Health Standards Organization (HSO) are partnering to develop a Cultural Safety and Humility standard. A technical committee led by First Nations peoples will develop this standard for use across the health system in British Columbia. The application process is now open for anyone interested in participating.

In BC, a broad-based movement towards greater cultural safety through cultural humility is underway.

The standard aims to embed this work, with the goal of improving individual and population health and wellness experience and outcomes.

"This partnership represents a unique opportunity to further describe what quality health care means for First Nations people in accordance with our teachings and values," said FNHA CEO Joe Gallagher. "A made in BC First Nations accreditation standard along with the advancement of systemic measures to support cultural safety & humility across the whole health system will improve care for our people no matter where they access services."

The new Cultural Safety and Humility standard will support health care organizations to identify gaps and challenges in their current system and adopt best practices to provide higher quality health services that better meet the needs of First Nations as well as other populations. The standard will be developed taking into account first-hand experiences of First Nations peoples in the BC health system.

The next step in developing the standard is the creation of a British Columbia technical committee. This committee, conducted under the leadership of First Nations peoples, will oversee the development of the standard. The technical committee will include an Elder and 16 voting members, with a balanced representation between four categories - First Nations patients and family members, health service providers, policy makers, and people with general interest and knowledge on cultural safety and humility. A selection process will take place to ensure representation from across the province and a variety of backgrounds.

To learn more about the technical committee, the recruitment process and to apply, visit

A focus on First Nations perspectives will ensure that the standard benefits and is relevant to First Nations interacting with the BC health system. Once developed, this standard may be used as a resource for other regions within Canada and abroad to facilitate similar improvements. 

"This is a meaningful opportunity, working as partners of First Nations within the provincial health eco-system and to co-design standards that will advance system-level changes to policy and governance," said Leslee J. Thompson, CEO, Health Standards Organization. "With our efforts to close the gap in health outcomes between First Nations and non-First Nations people, the spirit and principles of reconciliation will take root into every facet of healthcare delivery, unleashing the power and potential of people who share our passion for achieving quality health services for all."

The British Columbia Cultural Safety and Humility Technical Committee will be responsible to develop standards and assess leading practices related to the organizational structures and processes that support and ensure culturally safe services, such as service planning, resources, and staff competency. ​The standard will follow the First Nations client's health and wellness journey across the health and social service system, including access to services, health promotion and disease prevention, admission, assessment, treatment, discharge, and end-of-life care. In alignment with First Nations traditions and values, the standard will incorporate elements of the social determinants of health to ensure that they are holistic and community-oriented.

This work will support health and social service providers to gain better insight and understanding into the diverse cultures, traditions and teachings, and values of First Nations communities in BC. It is aligned with the directive adopted by First Nations in BC to improve services by integrating self-determination of the individual and community service for better quality care with First Nations communities in BC.  

About HSO: Health Standards Organization (HSO) develops standards, assessment programs and methodologies to enable health and social service providers around the world to improve quality while doing what they do best; saving and improving lives.

About the FNHA: The First Nations Health Authority is responsible for planning, management, service delivery and funding of health programs in partnership with First Nations communities in BC. Guided by the vision of embedding cultural safety and humility into health service delivery, FNHA works to reform the way health care is delivered to BC First Nations through direct services, provincial partnership collaboration, and health systems innovation. 


Media Contacts:

First Nations Health Authority

John Moody


Health Standards Organization
Kirk Edwardson


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