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Indigenous Health

We advocate for and provide help to Indigenous families who are visiting the hospital.

We welcome you, and we are your hosts! We serve patients and their families who identify as Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit or Metis and who are using services at BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre.

Support with your hospital visit

  • Assist you patient and your family in navigating hospital procedures and protocols
  • Accompany you and your family to clinic appointments at Children’s Hospital
  • Ensure your needs are heard by your medical team 
  • Assist you with making a complaint
  • Health literacy: explain medical advice that health professionals provide at patient appointments 
  • Direct patients and their families to resources that support your short-term or long-term stay at the hospital, including travel, food vouchers, housing, counselling and respite care 
  • Attend care plan and discharge planning meetings alongside the patient and their family to provide emotional support and health literacy assistance

Access to cultural resources

  • Provide traditional medicines for ceremonial use and use of a sacred space to perform ceremonies. View a photo of our sacred space
  • Help facilitate ceremonies for different phases of life, such as birthing, aging-out into adulthood, and end-of-life
  • Refer the patient and their family to an Elder (upon request) who provides emotional support and counselling for the patient and their family  

Support in your community 

  • Upon your discharge, we provide support by seeking out resources and supports for when you have returned home
  • Provide information on First Nations Health Benefits program

Accessing our services 

If you are a patient at the hospital, please ask your health care professional (specialists, doctors, nurses, social workers) to send a referral to our team via:

Referrals from a health care professional are not required. You and your family can self-refer by sending an email to our team by: 

Roles in our team  

Indigenous Patient Navigators

Indigenous Patient Navigators work alongside Indigenous patients and their families, and: 
  • accompany you to appointments throughout the hospital
  • provide emotional support
  • assist with finding resources for the patient while they are an in-patient at the hospital. 

Indigenous Patient Navigators will also offer traditional medicine and provide use and access to the designated sacred space to burn traditional medicines, and upon request, counsel of an Elder is also available to Indigenous patients and their families 

Indigenous Discharge Liaisons 

Indigenous Discharge Liaisons assist Indigenous patients in the following:  

  • Attend care plan meetings and discharge planning meetings at the hospital, which involve you, your parents/legal guardians, and health professionals involved with your care. 
  • Participate in care plan meetings in your community 
  • Provide follow-up when you return to your community by Zoom, phone calls or text. 


Upon request, we can connect you with an Elder who provides emotional and cultural support and counselling for you and your family.   

Elder services embody the following values

  • Everything is connected.
  • Respect for Indigenous peoples diversity of values, beliefs, and culture.
  • Work with hearts of compassion and empathy.
  • Reconciliation is a shared responsibility.
  • Embrace and foster connecting to cultural and traditional teaching.
  • Embrace standing strong in identity and culture.
  • Support and facilitate access to traditional healing and wellness practices.

SOURCE: Indigenous Health ( )
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