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New plan designed to improve cancer control among First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

January 11th, 2012

Although cancer was relatively uncommon in Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations two generations ago, current statistics tell a much different story. In some cases, cancer rates now surpass those of the general population. In an effort to improve cancer control among these populations, the Partnership recently facilitated the development of a First Nations, Inuit and Métis Action Plan on Cancer Control in collaboration with its Advisory Committee, a group that includes First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, patients, and representatives from cancer agencies, government, and organizations involved in cancer control and chronic disease prevention.“This is the first national plan of its kind designed to meet the distinct needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations,” said the former Advisory Committee Chair Caroline Lidstone-Jones, who is also Chief Quality Officer, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority. “It highlights the importance of overall leadership and action, as well as the linkages between cancer control and the management of common chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.”

The development of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Action Plan on Cancer Control began at the National Forum on First Nations, Inuit and Métis Cancer Control hosted by the Partnership in March 2009, which brought together representatives from 65 stakeholder groups to identify key gaps and help set future directions for collaborative action. During this meeting, the first step was to create an Advisory Committee to guide the development of an Action Plan.

The Advisory Committee and its member organizations developed proposed actions that include:

> Building community-based health human resources skills and capacity, and community awareness;
> Enhancing access to culturally-responsive resources and services that span the spectrum of cancer control;
> Enhancing access to cancer control programs and services in remote and rural communities; and
> Informing the development of common identifier standards and population definitions as a means to improving navigation.

Year one of the Action Plan implementation has already resulted in early learnings which will help to facilitate quality enhancements to cancer control services with and for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Click here (pdf) to read the Action Plan and learn more about year one implementation.