Table 3:

Suggestions for health care providers, managers and researchers

In personal practiceIn public forums and systemsIn research
Reflect on your own biases. Commit to professional development for yourself and your team in cultural safety, awareness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, and antioppressive, antiracist training.Go to ceremonies and community events to connect with Indigenous Peoples, communities and organizationsSurvey current knowledge and attitudes of health care providers, traditional practitioners and patients across the country
Greet people in their traditional language at the start of appointmentsBuild a sense that you belong to the community and care about continuity with your patient base over the yearsAdvance and use Indigenous statistical research methodologies
Prioritize getting to know your patients, their families, their stories, their preferences and their beliefsPromote community-based participatory action, authentic engagement and relationship-building between people and organizationsPromote and build competence in the use of Indigenous research methodologies
In appointments, acknowledge socio-historic injustices (e.g., colonization, residential schools and ongoing racism) affecting health, while celebrating strengths and resilienceSpeak out in solidarity during professional meetings and public forums to honour and appreciate the medicines of Indigenous PeoplesConduct systematic or scoping reviews of traditional–Western medicine partnerships in Canada and internationally
Inquire about (and be open-minded to) patient disclosure of traditional medicine use or consultations with healers and EldersPost and refer to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People in terms of health and health careStudy how to protect Indigenous medicines, healing practices and knowledge in their full integrity
Initiate a personal relationship with an Elder and be open to other ways of knowing and forms of “evidence”Use the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, the Calls to Justice of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report, and any provincial acts (e.g., Manitoba’s The Path to Reconciliation Act) to promote system changes on all levels of policyDevelop a better understanding of health care and practice across mixed and integrated Indigenous identities
Hire Indigenous personnelMake Indigenous-friendly spaces with visual indications of welcome (e.g., plaques, art-work and Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada commemorations)Work alongside and train Indigenous community members as researchers
Get to know your local traditional practitioners and their specialtiesEnsure safe spaces (e.g., ceremony rooms and smudge-friendly spaces) in hospitals and clinics. Seek partnerships with local Indigenous Knowledge Keepers to provide cultural education for staff.Build knowledge of how different models of Indigenous-led health partnerships can respond to context-specific service needs
Treat patients by connecting them with local resources and traditional cultural eventsCreate partnerships with Indigenous Elder-led organizations. Develop Elder advisory committees in organizations that do not have them already. Consult in organizations that do.Consult with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers on using the Medicine Wheel framework in health services and systems
Consult with Elders, refer patients to traditional practitioners, support the work they do in communitiesWork with Elder advisory committees to discern culturally appropriate systems (e.g., fair compensation, patient safety standards, scope of practice, role profiles, record keeping and record sharing)Learn about and advance a “two-eyed seeing” framework for practice and evidence-based research
Respect various Medicine Wheel teachings as holistic conceptual models of health and wellnessCocreate bicultural policy and procedures manualsUnderstand proper cultural protocols, engagement practices and self-determination in health policy research and development
Value traditional medicine equally with biomedicine“Get out of the box and back into the circle” — Elder Dr. David CourcheneBuild knowledge of Indigenous forms of “evidence” and “efficacy”