Health Innovation & Cancer Prevention (HICP) Program

Historically, Indigenous peoples in Alberta have not only struggled to navigate the healthcare system but have difficulties trusting the advice and care they receive.

Colonization and cultural barriers have created an unwelcoming environment for many Indigenous people.

We hope to overcome these barriers by promoting meaningful collaborations and partnerships to support knowledge sharing, translation, and exchange opportunities to advance the Indigenous Ways of Doing cancer prevention.

About Us


The Health Innovation and Cancer Prevention (HICP) Program is one of four programs under the Prevention of Cancer Among Indigenous Peoples and Vulnerable Populations Grant. Funding was provided by the Government of Alberta, through the Ministry of Health, to the Population, Public and Indigenous Health Strategic Clinical Network (PPIH SCN) before transitioning into the Indigenous Wellness Core (IWC) in Alberta Health Services.

Our Goal

Provide funding support to Indigenous communities and Indigenous non-government organizations to facilitate health innovation and cancer prevention projects that contribute to reducing the incidence of cancer and related modifiable risk factors among Indigenous peoples in Alberta.

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  • To provide Indigenous communities with project funding to establish a viable community project that seeks to prevent cancer and reduce cancer rates among Indigenous populations
  • To provide opportunities to support leading practices in cancer prevention initiatives that already exist within Indigenous communities
  • To encourage collaboration and partnerships among Indigenous organizations to co-design projects that spread innovation and generate knowledge in cancer prevention to:
    • Inform leading practices that have potential to leverage future funding opportunities
    • To build upon findings for future cancer prevention initiatives

The HICP funding opportunity is intended to create sustainable and community-led initiatives that provide lasting change and improved long-term health outcomes for Indigenous people living in Alberta.

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Building Healthy Indigenous Communities

Twelve projects were funded to address key prevention strategies in cancer and chronic disease and add Indigenous elements to support adoption and uptake in communities.

The Indigenous Wellness Core (IWC) supported communities who were interested in smoking cessation, increased vaccine uptake, community development and access to services to create or deliver projects that included innovative Indigenous approaches, supported by Elders and knowledge holders and more culturally appropriate for communities.

funded projects

Organization Synopsis
Métis Nation of Alberta Deploying two Cancer Prevention Practitioners, building capacity in Métis Albertans to quit smoking using culturally appropriate tools.
Morning Sky Health and Wellness Society Implementing preventative education around women’s cancer and the prevention of HPV among youth including promotion of the HPV vaccine.
Tallcree Tribal Government Increase access to nurse practitioner services in a semi-remote community.
Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc. Access to a nutritionist within the community to assist in the development of cancer-preventative nutrition-based menu planning for schools, daycares, the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve program, and home care services.
Beaver First Nation Conduct a needs assessment to identify knowledge gaps in screening and prevention, use community engagement to determine culturally appropriate ways to talk about cancer, and provide education sessions
Métis Settlements General Council Through community sessions, engage Métis youth living in the Settlements, in the areas of smoking cessation, physical activity, recreation, healthy living.
Âsokêwin (Rocky) Friendship Centre Education around prevention, screening and treatment to Rocky Mountain House and surrounding communities, grounded in Indigenous ways of being.
Samson Cree Nation Align program and service delivery through partnership development and maximization, hosting knowledge transfer opportunities/processes, develop community perspectives on the role of traditional medicines, and promoting cultural safety.
Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary Provide cancer navigation and supports, with particular focus on Elders and youth. Work with the Tom Baker Cancer Centre to develop Indigenous specific educational materials.
Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association Determine community needs, develop tailored cancer prevention materials, and deploy navigator services in two friendship center locations.
Stoney First Nation Increase culturally relevant navigation services for community members and increase educational opportunities on prevention.
Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation Host regular community gatherings to support those dealing with cancer and chronic disease, as well as their families as well as regular community events on cancer prevention.

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Get Inspired

Sharing information and hearing the experiences of others can often help us through difficult times.

We would like to acknowledge the Indigenous health care providers and community members who shared their cancer stories and experiences at the engagement sessions, Gathering of Voices, on March 13-14, 2023.

They have faced life with courage, used their personal strengths to face difficulties, and stood tall through adversity. We offer our deep gratitude and appreciation for sharing their experiences, for highlighting the barriers and gaps, and providing tips and recommendations to other Indigenous Albertans and their families as they navigate their own cancer journey.

ANSN Virtual Cancer Walk and Run

Health Innovation in Cancer Prevention - Knowledge is power. The project is to build and deliver community gatherings focused on cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening.

QuitCore Smoking Cessation Highlight

QuitCore is a tobacco reduction program through the Metis Nation of Alberta in Partnership with Alberta Health Services. The following MNA Citizens have successfully completed QuitCore.

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Take Action

"You have Cancer."

This is the most terrifying sentence nobody wants to hear. Receiving a cancer diagnosis often invoke many emotions and feelings, such as shock, fear, worry, anxiety, and despair. Am I going to die? Who’s going to take care of my family/kids?

Cancer can increase stress and heighten anxiety about the future. This is compounded by a lack of resources and culturally safe services to support Indigenous people through their cancer journey.

Often, we feel better after talking it out with someone, whether that be with friends, family, or health care professionals. Remember, you are NOT alone, and support is available. We are here for you. Let us walk beside you as you begin your cancer journey. Together, we are stronger!

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