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The Dialogue program: For culturally safe care and services, in collaboration with First Nations and Inuit communities

In its mission to drive progress further, particularly by responding effectively to the distinct needs of First Nations and Inuit families, the CHU Sainte-Justine is committed to establishing culturally safe maternal-child specialized care for patients and families from these communities. Rio Tinto, a long-time partner of Sainte-Justine, is financially supporting this effort. 

Unfortunately, still today, the gaps in terms of fair treatment, as well as issues of prejudice and discrimination, persist and prevent community members from making full use of existing care and services in traditional urban healthcare facilities – and from feeling safe in doing so.  

At Sainte-Justine, some 1,200 consultations are sought annually by First Nations and Inuit families, resulting in 60 to 80 hospital stays and around 75 emergency admissions. 

As part of Dialogue, hospital staff will have access to training tools and programs that reflect the needs and realities of the clientele they serve, allowing them to recognize situations of discrimination and rectify them. Interpreting, translation, and personalized support services will also be available.  

In keeping with this commitment to better support and represent First Nations and Inuit patients at Sainte-Justine, this program will aim to: 

  • Ensure individuals are involved in any decisions pertaining to their own health and well-being. 
  • Make services more visible and accessible within First Nations and Inuit communities. 
  • Respect Indigenous cultures and ensure they are given prominence within the organization through a variety of actions, such as incorporating art into healthcare settings and having informational and educational books on hand for patients, families, and employees.  

Thanks to Rio Tinto’s generous support, Sainte-Justine is working collaboratively with First Nations and Inuit representatives so that, together, they can build a rewarding relationship rooted in mutual trust. The initiative is in line with the P2022 – 2027 Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Wellness for the First Nations and Inuit and has the potential to be  considered a model for other facilities throughout the province.