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  • September 27, 2023 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm



The messaging Indigenous Peoples receive in society, is that “culture counts” (Bishop & Berryman, 2006; Bishop, 2008). It is also both a simple and powerful message that speaks to the many who organize and participate in the delivery and provision of Indigenous health and education programs, initiatives, interventions, and activities every day. Captured within this idea, is that enduring and respectful relationships for, with and beside Indigenous Peoples remains of paramount importance to the goal of Indigenous Peoples being well, and able to lead and live active healthy and prosperous lifestyles. Invariably, developing, implementing, and assessing the impact of Indigenous cultural safety training programs in Canada is as much about determining how culturally safe health and education systems and spaces are for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, as it is about learning how to improve the quality of health and educational care delivery and provision. Moreover, the idea that “culture counts” suggest a reduction in culturally unsafe practices, and a collective commitment to developing health and educational programs, policies, and processes that are anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-oppressive. In this workshop, the idea of developing an Indigenous cultural safety training impact assessment is about determining whether or not the knowledge or activities facilitated within the training make a difference to one’s personal and professional attitudes (commitment to diversity, accessibility, anti-racism, anti-oppression, and decolonization), models of inclusive practice (inclusive excellence), and collective capability (understanding and working towards equity as accessible, fair and just for all). From a NEIHR perspective, developing, implementing, and assessing the impact of Indigenous cultural safety training in various health and educational settings requires adopting a cultural-clinical interface (Durie, 2007) that can meet the various needs of all end-users. Finally, this work is more than simply responding and supporting people who work in health to understand the important social and cultural links between Indigenous health and educational wellbeing, and the collective and relational responsibility we all have to reduce Indigenous health and educational disparities based on agreed targets (inputs, outputs, outcomes, impacts) we can assess; rather it is about prioritizing different professional roles and enabling Indigenous Peoples to have the time, funding, and resources to Indigenize culturally safe and inclusive spaces while achieving specific health outcomes and educational success. The question we perhaps need to ask is, what has the dominant health care or education system learned about itself from the backlash of the Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action”, and what are leaders going to do to address an equally important question of what does an effective, excellent, and optimal health care and post-secondary education system look like for Indigenous Peoples to feel culturally safe, included, and successful?


Dr. Paul Whitinui (he/him pronouns) is an Indigenous Māori scholar from the Confederation of Tribes in the Far North of Aotearoa New Zealand (Ngā Puhi, Te Aupōuri, and Ngāti Kurī) on his father’s side, and Irish, Welsh, English and French on his mother’s side, and a grateful visitor living and working on the ancestral and sacred lands of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ Peoples on Vancouver Island. He is a professor in the School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education at the University of Victoria, and from 2021-2023 was the acting Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research for the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. As an Indigenous and interdisciplinary social scientist and educator his work is informed by Kaupapa Māori theory alongside transformative grounded theory and praxis which draws on the lived and emancipatory experiences of iwi Māori, and other colonized Indigenous Peoples, to critically interrogate dominant colonial state interests in areas pertaining to education, schooling, physical activity, health, sport, and leisure settings. Over the the past 16 years, Dr. Whitinui’s work has primarily focused on what constitutes schooling and educational success for Indigenous Peoples in publicly funded institutions and in what ways can we better evaluate or assess the impact of Indigenous Peoples experience in these settings. More recently, and in collaboration with four post-secondary institutions on Vancouver Island, he has worked to develop an Indigenous cultural safety impact assessment tool to better assess the impact of cultural safety training in post-secondary institutions, and to build better relationships for teaching and learning working with Indigenous students in these settings. In 2021, he was awarded the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium Order of the Circle of Service to Indigenous Education.