Cultural Safety Grant Projects

Some exemplary and thoughtful work came out of these initiatives which represent new and continued building of relationships between family physicians and First Nations communities in BC. We hope inspiration can be drawn from these examples and that they ignite meaningful action towards reconciliation efforts in BC and beyond.

Maternal care for the vulnerable (Chetwynd/South Peace region)

The team at Salteau Health Centre conducted a study to address a knowledge gap in provider education around culturally safe and traditional prenatal care practices and highlight community supports and resources for complex prenatal conditions in pregnancy. The community of Saulteau First Nations and surrounding communities who utilize the same services will benefit from this study, which is a first step toward educating local health professionals, and informing a framework to improve on gaps in perinatal services and access to traditional perinatal cultural supports.

Traditional medicine workshops (Victoria)

The project aimed to deliver a series of traditional medicine workshops to family physicians, in partnership with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. Teachings were provided by two Elders from Coast Salish and Kwakwakaʼwakw families and local knowledge keepers who also discussed their communities’ experience in the Western health care system, including attending “Indian Hospitals”. They discussed how Indigenous patients often experience discrimination and are subsequently reluctant to discuss their use of and belief in traditional medicines. Physicians were encouraged to talk with their patients about plant-based medicines and to respect their patients’ beliefs around health and wellness.

Cultural safety and medication (Courtenay/Comox Valley)

Over 30 allied health care team providers – including representation from First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Island Health, Comox Division of Family Practice/Primary Care Network, and private services – participated in the development and delivery of key resources on Plan W and Non-Insured Benefits of First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. The multiple project collaborators co-created:

  • a broad portfolio of PDF resources for health care providers, many of which could be shared physicians across BC
  • a series of awareness events targeting physicians/health providers, continuing into spring 2023
  • an awareness “Health Fair” event in January 2023 for Indigenous patients that included confidential medication consultations.

Bringing cultural recognition through art (Penticton)

Syilx artist Wynona Paul produced a large canvas painting (48″x70”) that is now installed in the Fairview Medical Clinic entrance. An unveiling ceremony was held December 1, 2022 with Chief Greg Gabriel (Penticton Indian Band) and Jacki McPherson (Health Director, Osoyoos Indian Band and cultural safety instructor for UBC) attending and sharing what this painting means to them and their community. Elder Grace Greyeyes (Penticton Indian Band) also provided a blessing and smudging. The painting has created a welcoming and open environment for Indigenous patients attending the clinic. Dr. Clarke also hopes that patients will feel open to share and incorporate any cultural healing practises, as they wish, into their care plans.

ER triage videos (Prince George)

This project aimed to produce a video and pamphlet, informed by regular consultation with community Elders, to help educate local family physicians and Emergency care providers on culturally safe care practices in the Emergency Room setting. At the outset of the project, the project lead and their colleagues had already taken significant steps to connect with Elders in the community and formed a local ER Cultural Safety Working Group. With BCCFP’s grant, as well as additional partner funding to complete video editing, the project group was able to produce three patient-facing videos for the ER triage area (patient waiting area):

Public-facing W̱SÁNEĆ art at a local community health centre (Victoria/Saanich)

The project was aimed at funding a local W̱SÁNEĆ artist to create a prominent, public-facing mural and a sign at the new Island Sexual Health Community Health Clinic, in the SENĆOŦEN language, with direction from the “W̱SÁNEĆ Art Protocol” (2021) of the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council, to welcome people of diverse Indigenous Nations into the clinic space. WSÁNEĆ artist, Sarah Jim, designed and painted a mural on a prominent interior wall of the patient waiting area of the Island Sexual Health Community Health Clinic in Saanich. The clinic team hopes that the forthcoming newspaper feature about Sarah’s art and the WLC Arts-Based Protocol will have a wider impact and raise awareness in the Victoria community, and perhaps inspire other local organizations to engage with the WLC and initiatives like the Arts-Based Protocol which is a movement of decolonization.