Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Vancouver Coastal Health (Coastal) Win 2023 BC Quality Award for Indigenous Palliative Care Projects

Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Vancouver Coastal Health (Coastal) Win 2023 BC Quality Award for Indigenous Palliative Care Projects

News & UpdatesTsleil-Waututh Nation and Vancouver Coastal Health (Coastal) Win 2023 BC Quality Award for Indigenous Palliative Care Projects

Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Vancouver Coastal Health (Coastal) Win 2023 BC Quality Award for Indigenous Palliative Care Projects

We are thrilled to announce that Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Coastal Community of Care have won a 2023 BC Quality Award in the “Coping with Transition from Life” category for their work towards providing high-quality, culturally safe palliative care to community members at any level and point in the care continuum.

Indigenous peoples experience various systemic barriers when accessing palliative care such as inadequate care coordination, poor transitions between health care settings, and limited access to palliative care services in First Nations communities.

Two-Eyed Seeing is the foundation of the Indigenous Palliative Care Projects (IPCP), a partnership to improve palliative care services for and with Indigenous peoples in the Coastal Community of Care region. The majority of these projects were pursued by TWN, in partnership with VCH’s North Shore Palliative Care team.

Some of the ways the IPCP worked to overcome these barriers with TWN members included developing policies and procedures to promote safe discharges of palliative care patients from hospital as well as defining pathways for TWN members transitioning to hospital for palliative care, while being medically, culturally, and spiritually supported.

As Andrea Aleck, Director of TWN’s Health and Wellness department, shared: “We hear the voices of our ancestors and Elders, and are guided by the knowledge keepers to reclaim what is rightfully ours as Tsleil-Wautt people. It is with this spiritual guidance and ancestral presence that we strive to strengthen our partnership, whilst ensuring that our palliative care services are culturally and spiritually informed by our Indigenous ways of knowing and being.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation and VCH collaborated to develop videos of traditional healing songs, with Elders sharing traditional knowledge about the final journey to “Go Home,” as well as brochures outlining palliative care that reflect Tsleil-Waututh ways of knowing and being.

These projects expand the level of culturally appropriate palliative resources that can be offered to patients in different settings, including hospital and hospice. The IPCP facilitates ongoing education and knowledge sharing between VCH and different Nation health teams on topics including serious illness conversations, cultural safety, traditional protocols, and palliative care.

Photo: Leonie Streeter (TWN), Sierra Roberts (VCH), Dr. Anis Lakha (VCH), and Andrea Aleck (TWN) receiving the Quality Awards at the Ceremony on June 6, 2023 at the Hyatt. 

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