First Nations Health AuthorityBC Association of Aboriginal Friendship CentresMétis Nation British ColumbiaBC CancerProvincial Health Services AuthorityMinistry of Health
Squamish Nation Territory / North Vancouver - A new strategy to improve cancer care and supports for Indigenous peoples across British Columbia was announced today.
Improving Indigenous Cancer Journeys: A Road Map
is the result of a multi-year partnership between BC Cancer, First
Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)
and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC). Only
the second of its kind in the country, its priorities are in line with
the calls to action for health by the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission of Canada.
The strategy addresses all aspects of
cancer, from prevention through to survivorship with a focus on
delivering culturally safe cancer care. Specifically, its six priority
• developing partnerships between the health system and Indigenous communities;• working with Indigenous communities to help prevent cancer before it starts; • increasing access and participation in colon, cervical and breast cancer screening;• promoting cultural safety and humility in cancer care services;• supporting Indigenous cancer survivorship and end-of-life experiences; and• improving knowledge of Indigenous cancer experiences.
• developing partnerships between the health system and Indigenous communities;
• working with Indigenous communities to help prevent cancer before it starts;
• increasing access and participation in colon, cervical and breast cancer screening;
• promoting cultural safety and humility in cancer care services;
• supporting Indigenous cancer survivorship and end-of-life experiences; and
• improving knowledge of Indigenous cancer experiences.
strategy is reflective of B.C.'s unique Indigenous landscape and
includes actions to directly improve the cancer experience for all
Indigenous peoples, including First Nations with and without status
living at home or away from home, Métis citizens or self-identified
Métis and Inuit peoples. Insight was gained from engagement over a
number of years with Indigenous cancer patients, survivors and their
The partners commit to support improved health outcomes
for all Indigenous peoples in BC when it comes to cancer, and commit to
support the ongoing partnership development between Indigenous peoples
and communities and health system partners.
Joe Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Health Authority
safe services and care are essential to increasing access and use of
provincial prevention and cancer support services for Indigenous
peoples. This strategy is an important component to the growing
partnership emerging between health and cancer services and Indigenous
organizations in BC. We encourage all service providers in BC to join us
on our journey towards cultural safety, and to make cultural humility
part of their everyday practice by pledging to support Indigenous
peoples' journey to better health."
Adrian Dix, Health Minister, BC Government
strategy is among the newest of its kind, and a crucial step in
addressing cancer survival disparities among Indigenous people in
British Columbia. When we understand and address the cultural barriers
experienced by Indigenous people, the health system can provide
preventative care, culturally respectful treatment and be a true partner
in saving lives."
Leslie Varley, Executive Director, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres "On
behalf of BCAAFC, I hold my hands high in appreciation of those that
helped us to develop an Indigenous cancer strategy. We heard many
stories of our brothers and sisters who have been through the cancer
journey, and we wanted to make sure the wisdom of Indigenous cancer
patients, survivors and their caretakers are reflected in this strategy.
As Friendship Centres, we often support families struggling with
cancer. Each of us has been impacted by cancer. As an Indigenous person
I feel better knowing that our Indigenous agencies have worked together
with BC Cancer to map out, identify and address some of the issues and
concerns I or my family might have. We sincerely hope this strategy is
useful to those on their own personal cancer journey, and equally as
useful to the service providers who we know are committed to culturally
appropriate and safe services to Indigenous people."
Susie Hooper, Minister for Health, Métis Nation British Columbia
Nation British Columbia is committed to the goals, objectives and
actions outlined in the Indigenous Cancer Strategy that was developed
with our partners. MNBC recognizes the importance of working in a Nation
specific way to achieve improved health outcomes for Indigenous people
throughout the cancer journey. Through enhanced prevention, screening,
health education and knowledge development in our Indigenous
communities, we anticipate earlier detection and improved access to
treatment. Collectively with our partners at BC Cancer, First Nations
Health Authority and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship
Centres; we want access and treatment to be equitable and culturally
safe, which will lead to excellence in overall health and well-being for
First Nations and Métis Communities.
Dr. Malcolm Moore, President, BC Cancer
Cancer's mission is to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer and
to improve the quality of life of those living with cancer, for all
British Columbians. We recognize the unique cancer challenges and
treatment outcome disparities faced by Indigenous people and we are
working with our partners to ensure the delivery of culturally safe
cancer care throughout the province. This strategy is a demonstration of
our commitment to actions that directly improve the cancer experience
for all Indigenous people; from prevention through treatment and
survivorship, we are committed to continuing collaboration that improves
the cancer journey for Indigenous cancer patients, for their families
and their communities."
Johnna Sparrow, Indigenous cancer survivor
it comes to cancer, knowledge is power. Everyone needs a treatment
strategy that suits their disease and their physical and spiritual
needs. Yet our communities are used to being disempowered and to losing
battles. The Indigenous Cancer Strategy has the ability to turn that
around. It can create a cultural of empowerment for Indigenous people to
not only survive cancer but to thrive against cancer. I am grateful to
BC Cancer and the First Nations Health Authority for their work in
creating a culturally safe environment for our people to heal."
The Indigenous Cancer Strategy is available online here: www.fnha.ca/WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/improving-indigenous-cancer-journeys-in-bc.pdf
comparing cancer between First Nations and non-First Nations people in
British Columbia is available from the peer-reviewed journal, Cancer Causes & Control, here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10552-017-0950-7
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) 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, the FNHA works to reform the way health care is
delivered to BC First Nations through direct services, provincial
partnership collaboration, and health systems innovation.
BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC)
is a registered Society under the BC Societies Act, and is the umbrella
association for 25 Aboriginal Friendship Centres across the province.
BCAAFC's mission is to improve the quality of life for Indigenous people
in BC by supporting the activities of member Friendship Centres. This
includes acting as a unifying body for Friendship Centres to engage all
levels of government in addition to coordinating special projects and
initiatives, events and programs, and providing information on resources
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)
is the representative of 37 Métis Chartered Communities in British
Columbia, and represents more than 16,500 provincially registered Métis
Citizens and nearly 90,000 self-identified Métis people in the province.
MNBC's mandate is to implement culturally relevant social and economic
programs and services to create opportunities for Métis communities, and
its vision is to build a proud, self-governing, sustainable Nation in
recognition of Inherent Rights for Métis Citizens.
an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to
reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer and
improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a
comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia
by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology
services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and
treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and
palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.bc.ca or follow us on Twitter @BCCancer.
Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)
plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide
health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health
authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health
of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.
For more information or to arrange an interview:
Brenna Latimer First Nations Health Authority 604-831-4898 Media@fnha.ca
Communications Officer, BC Cancer
Provincial Health Services Authority
PHSA media line: 778-867-7472