Island Health Relational Practice for Cultural Safety — It Begins with You



Island Health developed a facilitated, in-person six-hour workshop to deepen health-care staff's ability to create more culturally safe health-care settings. The ultimate goal is to improve health outcomes for First Nations and Aboriginal people.

How Did This Initiative Come About?

Cultural safety training for health-care staff has been identified and supported as a priority by Island Health. This in-person workshop was developed to follow the online "For the Next Seven Generations—For Our Children" workshop.



The goal of the six-hour "Relational Practice for Cultural Safety—It Begins with You" workshop is to explore issues and introduce learning to raise health-care providers' awareness of deeply held attitudes and preconceptions about First Nations and Aboriginal people. The workshop also enhances their knowledge of the historical and social processes impacting both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Facilitators hope to enhance the relational skills that contribute to creating culturally safe environments and interactions between health-care providers and clients, thereby improving service delivery in culturally safe ways that increase First Nations and Aboriginal clients' access to health-care services and reduce barriers that might prevent that access.


Elements of Success

Before attending this in-person workshop, participants are expected to have completed prior learning. The workshop is led by Elders, and workshop facilitators take care to set the tone for the day by incorporating a circle process, which includes group process guidelines, and by encouraging participants to practice self-care throughout the day. The workshop draws on a wide range of sharing and listening exercises and incorporates various modalities and exercises for learning.


Advice For Others

• Work with Elders and host sessions within First Nations communities: this is an important component of inclusive and locally informed programming.

• Have a support plan for coping with emotional triggers to the sometimes uncomfortable and unsettling content.

• It is helpful to require participants to have completed online or other pre-learning about colonial history.


For more information on this initiative, please contact:

Yvette Ringham-Cowan:

Harley Eagle:

Download this case study in PDF format here (1.2 MB)
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