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What culturally safe cancer care means to Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation

Wendy Gifford, Peggy Dick, Catherine Larocque, Shokoufeh Modanloo, Liquaa Wazni, Zeina Al Awar, Maggie Benoit

2023 Canada

Understanding what culturally safe care means to First Nations people is the first step to reimagining how healthcare can be conceived and operationalized. This study explored the meaning of culturally safe cancer care with Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation in Canada, including community members’ perceptions of barriers to receiving it. Two focus groups using journey mapping were held with cancer survivors and family members (n = 16) and healthcare providers (n = 12), followed by individual interviews (n = 13). Discussions were video-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed. Culturally safe cancer care encompassed: (a) family and community, (b) culture as healing, and (c) stories for sharing cultural teachings. Ongoing systemic racism was described as prevalent in cancer care today and a significant barrier to culturally safe care. Further research is needed for health system change to dismantle the systemic and structural factors that continue to make healthcare unsafe and harm Indigenous People.

cancer care, community-based research, First Nations, Indigenous People, participatory research