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Programs & Services

Indigenous Hospital Support Services

Facility-based Indigenous cultural support service provides First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Métis and Inuit peoples and their families with: help feeling comfortable in the hospital, making referrals, support for discharge from the hospital, and talking to healthcare providers about Indigenous culture (e.g. smudging). Ask your healthcare provider for more information about Alberta Health Services policy to allow spiritual ceremonies.

This program provides support and health information to healthcare providers, Indigenous patients/clients, and their families through personal visits.

This program provides:

  • Advocacy - Patient advocacy, healthcare navigation services, and health literacy support.
  • Connection to Resources - Case management, coordination of care, and referrals to connect with community services (i.e., NIHB support, referral to a clinic or community agency, equipment funding referral, help with forms, transportation assistance). Logistical support for discharge planning and follow up.
  • Cultural Support - Support for Indigenous patients to incorporate their traditional & spiritual practices during their hospital stay (i.e., smudging support, prayer, singing).
  • Education/Awareness - Collaboration with patients and healthcare providers around spiritual, cultural, and other needs to facilitate culturally safe, patient and family-centered care. Provide information about Indigenous history, policies, or IWC services/programs.
  • End of Life Support - Supporting patients, family members or nursing staff at the end of a person's life.
  • Meetings/Rounds - Support for patients, families, and staff in family conferences. Attend unit/nursing rounds.
  • Psychosocial Support - Assisting with social supports, listening, trauma, loneliness or isolation, domestic issues, bereavement, coping techniques, etc.
  • Translation - Support translation of an Indigenous language to English or connect patients with translation services.

This service is available on-site in hospitals and public health centres. Upon request, staff can be present at hospital rounds, medical appointments, and case conferences.

Indigenous Hospital Support Staff also gather traditional medicines, educate about ceremonial protocol, and are available to healthcare staff for consultation on a diverse range of Indigenous patient issues.

Patients and clients may also be asked about their healthcare experience to help ensure they receive the best possible healthcare.

Contact Details

Cross Cancer Institute

11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 1Z2
Getting There

Parking and Public transportation available

Parking map

Hours of Operation
Service hours not available.
Service Providers May Include
indigenous hospital support services

First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Métis, and Inuit peoples and their families.

Service Access

Healthcare providers and community agencies can make referrals. Patients and families may also self refer. See locations for contact information.

Service Languages
Interpreter/Translation services
Service Locations
Also Known As
Indigenous Cultural Helper Services, Indigenous Hospital Navigation Services
Aboriginal Cultural Helper