Cultural Safety & Humility

Cultural Safety & Humility

Cultural Safety & Humility

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We believe that quality care respects individuals for their unique perspectives and acknowledges their cultural contexts. It acknowledges that each of us holds biases and beliefs that shape our worldview, and requires that care providers reflect on and understand how these biases may impact the care they provide.

To foster quality care that is safe and appropriate for Indigenous Peoples, we have built a partnership with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). While early in our work together, we have been actively collaborating with FNHA to promote Indigenous cultural safety and humility, build capability and capacity within the system, ensure that Indigenous people are part of the Patient Voices Network, and hardwire an Indigenous lens into quality across BC’s health care system.

To ensure the health and well-being of First Nations and Aboriginal people, care must be provided in a culturally-safe health care system. Cultural safety is defined as “an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the health system.”

In July 2015, FNHA led the development of a Declaration of Commitment on Cultural Safety & Humility which was signed by the Ministry of Health along with the chief executive officers from all of the province’s health authorities. The declaration outlines the actions necessary to embed cultural safety and cultural humility into the health care system. In March 2017, at the Best of Both Worlds event, all 23 regulatory bodies also endorsed the Declaration.

Culturally Safe Engagement: What Matters to Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) Patient Partners

Companion Guide

This guide to creating culturally safe engagements was created from the voices of Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) patient partners. From these meaningful discussions, eight key principles emerged along with a series of recommended actions to help and encourage health care partners to provide culturally safe patient engagement opportunities.

Download the Guide


This pamphlet serves as an at-a-glance version of the Companion Guide.

Download the Pamphlet

Sharing Concerns: Principles to Guide to Development of an Indigenous Patient Feedback Process


We hosted a provincial dialogue that brought together more than 100 people from health care organizations, Indigenous patients, families and caregivers to discuss how the process to share concerns about a health care experience can be improved for Indigenous peoples. Nine key principles were developed as a foundation for creating a safe, accessible and meaningful feedback process. This report details the importance of each principle and provides examples of how they can be put into action.

Download the Report

Pledge Your Commitment to Cultural Humility

Creating a culturally safe health care system requires the participation and commitment of every person in BC.

The First Nations Health Authority has launched a movement for cultural humility in the BC health system. Anyone can make a pledge affirming their commitment to cultural humility, and sharing their vision for a culturally safe health care system.

Cultural Safety & Humility Pledge CardTo join the movement, and help socialize and promote cultural safety and humility:

  1. ​Download a pledge car​d!​
  2. Print the card
  3. Write your commitment or vision
  4. Snap a pic & share it on social media
  5. Include the hashtag #ItStartsWithMe​​

Cultural Safety & Humility Action Series

Between October 2016 and November 2017, we partnered with the First Nations Health Authority for a webinar action series. These webinars took place on the first Wednesday of each month, and encouraged participation, learning, self-reflection and positive change among BC’s health care professionals.

The series supported development of tools and skills on how to be effective allies for advancing cultural safety and humility and what health service staff and allies can do to understand and integrate this work into their practice or interaction with First Nations and Aboriginal Clients.

All webinars were recorded and are available with their presentation slides for your continued learning.

Watch the Action Series

We are committed to promoting, learning about and educating others about cultural safety and humility to drive change in BC. Read about our journey and hopes for the future.

Key Contact

Dallas Smith
Director, Analytics & Strategic Initiatives