Resource Round-up: Indigenous health

Press Release

May 30, 2024

Intergenerational trauma, health-care disparities, and racism in all its forms continue to undermine the health of Indigenous patients and their trust in the health-care system. As a key entry point to our health system, the pharmacy community has an essential role to play in implementing culturally safe, patient-centered care across Canada. Here’s a collection of resources to support you in your practice.

CPhA resources

  • Understanding the Indigenous experience from both sides of the pharmacy counter — A panel of Indigenous pharmacy professionals discuss their experiences within the pharmacy community, the role that pharmacists can play in understanding and addressing health disparities facing Indigenous patients and communities and how we can better provide culturally safe, inclusive care.
  • Pharmacy professionals’ guide to navigating the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program — This webinar explores how to navigate and administer the NIHB program, challenges facing providers and patients in accessing the program, and approaches to culturally safe patient care when faced with coverage or other barriers.

Accessible care for Indigenous Peoples

  • NIHB Optimization Program Resources — A collection of resources on Indigenous Peoples’ health to support pharmacists in optimizing care for the Indigenous community. (Off the Script)
  • First Nations children’s access to health and social care in Canada — Video recording on the challenges and barriers facing First Nations communities when accessing health care and social care services. (Children’s Healthcare Canada)
  • Indigenous Health Resources — Resources to support health-care practitioners’ cultural understanding, including a discharge planning tool. (Indigenous Health/Northern Health BC)
  • Discharge Medication Reconciliation for Patients Being Discharged to a First Nations Reserve — An article about the unique challenges experienced when providing medication reconciliation services for patients coming from and/or being discharged to a First Nations reserve. (Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy)

Incorporating Indigenous practices in care

  • Supporting Indigenous Ceremonial Practices within Health Care Institutions — A guideline on how institutions can enable the practice of Indigenous ceremonies within health-care settings. (Cancer Care Ontario/Indigenous Cancer Program)
  • Supporting ceremonies during COVID — Tips and virtual support programs to enable the practice of Indigenous ceremonies during the pandemic. (Cancer Care Ontario/Indigenous Cancer Program)

Resources for inclusive care

  • Indigenous Health and Reconciliation in Pharmacy — Webinar on cultural safety and how pharmacists and the pharmacy profession can respond to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Calls to Action. (Dr. Jaris Swidrovich)
  • Understanding Opportunities to Enhance Care for Indigenous Patients — An interview with Dr. Jaris Swidrovich on the role of the pharmacy profession when caring for Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada. (Pharmacy Connection)
  • Indigenous Identity and Traditional Medicine: Pharmacy at the crossroads — An article on the past and current state of Indigenous health, revitalization of cultural autonomy and the role of pharmacists. (Canadian Pharmacists Journal)
  • Evidence based Medicine through an Indigenous Lens — Webinar examining ways in which evidence-based medicine and Indigenous knowledges, practices and medicines are captured in the health care system.  (Dr. Jaris Swidrovich)
  • NCCIH Knowledge Resources & Publications — Resource collections from the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health:
    • Indigenous Knowledge(s) and Public Health
    • Chronic and Infectious Diseases.
  • Indigenous Health Practitioners and Evidence Based Practice — A study outlining what constitutes evidence, how evidence is accessed and how traditional knowledge is currently being integrated into health practice among Indigenous health practitioners. (National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health)

Pharmacy Check-Ins

We caught up with some Indigenous pharmacy professionals to talk about pharmacy practice and providing safe, inclusive health care to Indigenous communities.

Fanny Fiddler

Barrie, ON

Meet Fanny

Kalbie Hokanson
Edmonton, AB

Meet Kalbie

Cassandra McLelland
Brampton, ON

Meet Cassandra

Sasha Merasty (she/her)
Saskatchewan, SK

Meet Sasha

Jaris Swidrovich
Toronto, ON

Meet Jaris

Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship

Deadline: June 20, 2024

IPPC and CPhA are accepting applications for the Indigenous Pharmacy Scholarship! With both PharmD and technician scholarships available for the 2024-2025 academic year, this funding will help reduce financial barriers for Indigenous youth interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy. Applications are being accepted until June 20, 2024.

Learn more

Resources for implementing culturally safe practices

  • Building Cultural Safety and Humility for First Nations Clients into Pharmacy Practice — Two courses to help pharmacy team members learn how to address systemic anti-Indigenous racism and barriers to healthcare access in pharmacy care settings. (UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • Trauma-Informed Care Through an Indigenous Lens — A webinar exploring the many origins of trauma for Indigenous People and communities. This webinar defines core trauma-informed care concepts and offers strategies for first responders and front-line workers (Indigenous Continuing Education Centre)
  • NCCIH Knowledge Resources & Publications: Cultural Safety and Respectful Relationships — A collection of studies and resources for Indigenous cultural safety and respectful relationships (National Collaborating Center for Indigenous Health):
    • Cultural safety — An infographic on cultural safety and humility and what it means to implement culturally safe practices. (First Nations Health Authority/Northern Health/First Nations Health Council)
    • Cultural Awareness Courses — Free courses to gain knowledge on the history and culture of the Indigenous Peoples to provide culturally appropriate, patient-centered care. (Cancer Care Ontario)
  • Supporting Families with Indigenous Backgrounds — Infographic on 8 things to remember when supporting Indigenous patients. (Northern Health)
  • The History Behind First Nations Health — A guide to understanding the history behind the state of First Nations Health today. (First Nations Health Authority)
  • Wabanaki-Two Spirit Alliance — Two-Sprit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous information and resources. (W2SA)
  • Respecting Tobacco — Tool to understand the sacred value of tobacco and its healing and spiritual benefits in Indigenous health. (First Nations Health Authority)

Supporting health concerns in Indigenous Peoples

  • First Nations Health and Polypharmacy — A study on polypharmacy in the Indigenous community and methods used to promote heathy medication use. (First Nations Health Authority)
  • Coyote’s Food Medicines — A story telling initiative using a traditional approach that can be used by health care providers to raise awareness of polypharmacy and safe medication use. (BC Medical Journal)
  • NIDA Diabetes Resources — A collection of resources to support diabetes care in Indigenous patients (National Indigenous Diabetes Association)
  • Type 2 Diabetes and Indigenous Peoples — Webinar on managing type 2 diabetes in Indigenous patients. (Diabetes Canada)
  • Mental Health and Wellness of Indigenous Youth — 5 tips on supporting the mental health and wellness of Indigenous Youth by Dr. Jaris Swidrovich. (Pharmacy Connection)
  • Supporting the Sacred Journey — A resource for health care professionals supporting First Nations families from preconception to parenting, by understanding the history and teachings surrounding the parenting journey. (Best Start Resource Centre)
  • Tobacco Wise Program — A collection of resources on smoking cessation for health care providers and Indigenous patients. (Indigenous Tobacco Program)
  • Pain and Indigenous Patients — A study outlining the representation of Indigenous Peoples and their use of pain medications in the Canadian media. (The International Indigenous Policy Journal)

Pharmacy Education & Research

  • Indigenous Research Level of Engagement Tool — A tool to provide guidance to researchers and grant review committees who are involved in or are new to Indigenous research with guidelines on how to ensure a project proposal is being planned and executed in an appropriate manner. (Indigenous Continuing Education Centre)
  • Decolonizing and Indigenizing pharmacy education in Canada (Currents in Pharmacy Teachings and Learnings)
  • A Canadian perspective of pharmacy education for students belonging to diverse groups (Currents in Pharmacy Teachings and Learnings)
  • Laying the groundwork for decolonization, Indigenization and reconciliation in pharmacy (Canadian Pharmacists Journal)
  • Introducing Indigenous methodologies to pharmacy practice research (Canadian Pharmacists Journal)

Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada

The Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada (IPPC) is an Indigenous-led association that has been established to connect and support Indigenous pharmacy professionals and help all pharmacists provide better care to Indigenous patients by creating and promoting pharmacy practice models that respect the safety, equality, strengths and teachings of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
Learn more

Our Resource Round-up series gathers available resources and practice tools on important health topics to help you in your practice. This is not an exhaustive list of available resources on Indigenous health. Something missing? If you have information, tools or resources you think we should include, please let us know at


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