FNIM Symbol

She:kon   |   Aanii   |   Boozhoo   |   Kwe kwe

To the people of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who call the south east their home, it is our hope that we might build and strengthen our relationships, so that we can walk together on a good path. With time and through a co-leadership and engagement model, we will strive to improve the health and well-being of all the Indigenous peoples living in the south east.


Engaging and partnering with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities

We work in partnership with local First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM), communities to facilitate engagement with the healthcare system and advance culturally-appropriate services, contributing to better patient experiences, enhanced quality of care and improvements in health outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Ontario. This involves developing partnerships and relationships with Indigenous and First Nation communities, in order to:

  • Better understand local needs, priorities and opportunities;
  • Develop local Indigenous engagement and strategic plans;
  • Facilitate relationships across the healthcare sectors;
  • Build a base of knowledge that includes better data, traditional approaches to healing and wellness, values, principles and priorities of Indigenous peoples and their families; and
  • Develop a framework for action to advance culturally appropriate, accessible, and equitable healthcare services.

Provincial Aboriginal LHIN Network (PALN)

The Indigenous Lead’s role is to facilitate Indigenous engagement and planning, together forming a community of practice called the Provincial Aboriginal LHIN Network (PALN). The Indigenous Lead for the south east region is Deborah Goulden.

The scope is to facilitate cross-collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing through bi-monthly network meetings and one annual event. Priorities identified across the province include:

  • Partnership development with Indigenous communities and organizations

  • Primary Care

  • Advancing Indigenous Cultural Competency and Safety

  • Population Health

ICS Training

The Indigenous Cultural

Safety (ICS) online education program is relatively new to Ontario. It was adapted from the Provincial Health Services Authority of British Columbia, who has mandated this training for all health services authority staff for over five years. The training is designed to improve health outcomes for Ontario’s Indigenous people by building culturally competent and safe health care environments, which will increase the likelihood that Indigenous people will seek care and stay for treatment.

Poster: ICS training


FNIM Demographics


In order to raise awareness of the FNIM population within the south east, detailed information on demographics, listed by
sub-region, can be found in the document below. This information was compiled from Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census data.


South East LHIN FNIM Demographics - (PDF)

Working with FNIM Communities in the south east

The role of the Indigenous Lead is to support the goals outlined above. This requires the creation and strengthening of relationships to enable the trust required to work together in developing programs collaboratively.

Enhancing cultural competency through Indigenous Cultural Competency (ICC) Training – ICC training is designed to increase the knowledge and self-awareness of Health Service Providers (HSPs) involved in the training. Through programs like the Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety program, we are working to ensure that HSPs, including our own staff, receive training to further develop cultural safety within their respective organizations. We work to provide ICC training to all frontline staff who regularly engage with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.


If you’re interested in learning more about ICC training, Cancer Care Ontario provides several free modules to strengthen your cultural competency and understanding of the FNIM community. Click here to learn more.

Community Engagement Protocol – We place a strong focu on striving to establish better communication with all FNIM communities in the region, and are planning a series of meetings across the south east to meet with the various communities. The purpose of these engagements is to open lines of communication, learn about the traditional values and practices of the communities, hear about their experiences with the health care system, and learn how they would like to work together going forward.

Palliative Care – Through the work of our Regional Palliative Care Network Lead, we have continued working to introduce the Ontario Palliative Care Network’s (OPCN) provincial strategy to the community. This process began in March 2017, with a regional discussion about palliative care in the south east region, including Indigenous views on death and dying, and thoughts on how to improve access and equity in hospice palliative care for the Indigenous community. Next steps include re-engaging the community in a co-leadership model, to develop a regional plan for the region that provides a culturally safe and coordinated approach to hospice palliative care.


Indigenous Nurse Practitioners (INP) – While an INP currently provides services to the Napanee area, funds for an additional INP have been provided to the Napanee and Area Community Health Centres to operate in conjunction with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ). This position will primarily operate out of the MBQ Community Wellbeing Centre and will be staffed in conjunction with them. The role will serve the Indigenous community through increased access to care and culturally safe services, while reducing transportation barriers that many patients face. 

These initial projects are only the beginning of our work with the community and we will continue working to support additional opportunities across the region, in a way that is guided by our Indigenous partners.