Concurrent Sessions

EF2 Who Wants to be Tolerated: Improving Indigenous Specific Patient Experiences and Equity

Theme 2. Planning programs for equitable access to care

Presentation Details

  • Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Concurrent Session E & F
  • Time: 10:45am-12:30pm
  • Room:
  • Style: Workshop (session is structure for interaction and/or hands-on learning opportunities)
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  1. Awareness of the connections between attitudes (including unconscious) and behaviour/practice specifically related to Indigenous people;
  2. Awareness of how this affects the standard of care for Indigenous patients/clients
  3. Knowledge about models of Indigenous cultural competency, stereotyping and Indigenous-specific colonial narratives
  4. Practical application of knowledge and awareness to specific scenarios
  5. Awareness of rationale for specific education to address Indigenous specific bias held by health care providers


Are we all tolerated equally? Many health care leaders across Canada are asking this critical question in their efforts to improve the quality of health services for all clients. We all know that attitudes like tolerance, appreciation, and repulsion are connected to particular behaviours. This connection is the foundation for understanding how and why cultural competency is needed for transformation in health care today.   The workshop will explore the connection between attitudes and behaviours through a variety of engaging and thought-provoking activities and exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to explore models of Indigenous cultural competency, stereotyping, and the Indigenous-specific colonial narratives that inform dominant attitudes in Canada. They will be able to reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs through an individual activity, and then apply this knowledge and insight to specific scenarios. The scenarios will deal with health care situations that are relevant to the participants’ experiences. This part of the workshop is often full of “a-ah” moments for the whole group!   Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of the connection between attitudes and behaviours and a greater appreciation for the ways that this can play out differently in relationships with Indigenous clientele. “Getting to the Roots of Tolerance” provides participants with a unique experience to step out of the everyday and look at the roots of the issues that impact their work, the efficacy of health care, and clients’ quality of care.


  • Diane Smylie, Provincial Director Ontario ICS Program, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre
  • Leila Monib, Health Equity Specialist, Toronto Public Health

Authors & Contributors