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Indigenous Health

Indigenous Health works with other PHSA programs and services in a collaborative approach to advancing Indigenous wellness.

Smudge bowl with medicines 

Our work
Since its inception in 2008, PHSA Indigenous Health has been working to improve the quality of health care for Indigenous people, foster cultural safety, and contribute to closing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in BC.

Our work at Indigenous Health is informed by the following foundational mandates: 

The Indigenous Health Department is a part of the People, Diagnostic & Treatment Services executive portfolio at PHSA. We collaborate with partners in other PHSA services and programs as well as with community members and service partners to advance health equity for Indigenous British Columbians.

Together we work to:

  • Address Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in health care
  • Promote Indigenous Cultural Safety education and training
  • Promote and ensure shared decision-making with Indigenous communities
  • Improve health outcomes for Indigenous populations

Our partners in this work include First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Métis Nation BC (MNBC), the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC). 

Our office is located within the unceded traditional and ancestral territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Stó:lo, and Musqueam Nations.

Areas of Work

The Indigenous Health department is organized into five areas of responsibility:

San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Learning Programs, which are a collection of education programs that helps increase knowledge, self-awareness and skills around addressing Indigenous-specific racism.

Research and Development, which includes the design, development, revision and/or evaluation of curriculum, tools and assessments, as well as research of racism theory and practices.

Indigenous Cultural Safety & Partnership, which supports PHSA-wide programs and services that address Indigenous-specific racism.

Provincial Indigenous Cultural Safety Programs, which oversee initiatives to address Indigenous-specific racism in collaboration with provincial programs, services and health partners.

Indigenous Youth Wellness Programs, which work with communities to support a variety of wellness programs specifically for youth across BC.

Each area of responsibility is accountable to the Indigenous communities and partners we serve and to our foundational mandates.

Programs & Services



San'yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Programs are a collection of unique online training programs designed to enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous people. The goal of this training is to strengthen the knowledge, self-awareness, and skills of participants so they can work more safely and effectively with Indigenous peoples.

Select San'yas programs offer professional education credits. To learn more please visit the San'yas training website. 


The National Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Learning Series of webinars provides an opportunity to access knowledge, experiences, and perspectives in support of collective efforts to strengthen Indigenous cultural safety across sectors. At each session, guest speakers present topics related to Indigenous cultural safety. In live streams, facilitators encourage participants to submit questions to be answered at the end of the session. Each webinar is recorded and an excellent resource for self-directed group or individual learning.

Learn more, register for the next webinar or watch previous ones at:

Questions or more information:


The ICS learning series is produced by PHSA Indigenous Health and guided by an advisory council of national and international Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders.

Indigenous Patient Navigators (IPNs) collaborate with Indigenous peoples and their families to ensure access to high quality care that is trauma-informed, culturally safe and free of racism and discrimination.


Indigenous Health has created a new Navigator role specifically to address patient experiences of anti-Indigenous racism and unsafe care within the healthcare system. This role is known as the IPN-Patient Experience, and is available to provide support in filing a complaint with the Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO). For further information and contact details please click on the Brochure link provided below. 

PHSA IPN Services Brochure Print-Friendly Version.pdf

Referrals are accepted from patients, family members, friends, community members and health professionals.  To access the referral form please click on the following link:

IPN Fillable Referral Form.pdf


There are currently 10 IPN's working across PHSA programs and services. IPN's walk alongside patients and their families to navigate PHSA services and programs, refer to Indigenous community services and facilitate access to cultural and spiritual supports as requested. IPN's receive feedback from patients about their experience within PHSA programs and services and advocate to address quality of care concerns should they arise.

For more information on specific IPN roles see links below: 


Teachings In The Air is an Indigenous health and wellness podcast hosted by Elder Gerry Oleman. Teachings In The Air aims to inspire, motivate, and empower Indigenous people to healthy by being sound in mind, body and spirit. 

For more information, please visit Teachings In The Air Podcast or listen today on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.


‎Cuytswi is an online educational program for Indigenous boys aimed at promoting wellness on their journey to adulthood.

For more information please visit Indigenous Youth Wellness

Ask Auntie is an online educational program for Indigenous girls aimed at promoting wellness while on their journey to adulthood.

For more information please visit Indigenous Youth Wellness


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