McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Indigenous cultural safety training program on offer

Published: March 28, 2019

An online training program to enhance awareness of the socio-historical context to the health of Indigenous populations is being offered to members of the Faculty of Health Sciences by the Faculty's Indigenous Health Initiative.

There are three different courses available which are aimed primarily at people working in Ontario's health system, including leadership, administration and allied health professionals.

"All of us have much to learn in relation to Canada's Indigenous peoples, and following the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," said Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences. "I have taken this training myself, and I strongly recommend it to everyone at the Faculty."

The training program, offered by the Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety Program, is self-paced with the learning over an eight-week window. A course takes from eight to 17 hours to complete.

Mark Walton, vice-dean faculty affairs, has a group attending, but there are many other seats available. Training starts on Mondays, and starts are being staggered beginning April 1. There is no cost to faculty and staff of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Participants will have the option of choosing from three different core training elements:

  • Ontario Core ICS Health

Designed for people who work in health and focuses on issues that are specifically relevant for health care professionals working with Indigenous people in Ontario.  It is eight weeks long.

  • Ontario Enhanced Core ICS Health

This version has new content to support deeper learning about Indigenous cultural safety at an organizational level.  Content has been added to support participants who may be witnessing bias, stereotyping and discrimination in their work settings and how they can respond.  Due to enhanced nature, participants will be provided 10 weeks to complete the training.

  • Ontario Core ICS Mental Health

With specific modules focused on the context of mental health and addictions, this course is designed for mental health professionals working with Indigenous people in Ontario. This is over eight weeks.

To register, contact GyehoThomas at  or 905-525-9140, ext. 22405 by Friday, April 5.

Regarding accreditation, the core health program is certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 16 Mainpro+ credits; by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for up to 8.0 section 3 credits and by the Canadian College of Health Leaders members for up to 4.5 Category II credits towards maintenance of certification (MOC) requirement.


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