New CFPC guidance document addresses systemic racism in the health care of Indigenous peoples

February 29, 2016

(February 29, 2016, Mississauga, ON) The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) today releases a new document called Health and Health Care Implications of Systemic Racism on Indigenous Peoples in Canada. It was developed in an effort to address the recommendations made in the recent report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

This important guidance document is the work of the CFPC’s Indigenous Health Working Group (IHWG), which is a collaboration between the CFPC and the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC).  It provides a high-level summary of the role that systemic racism often plays in shaping the health care experiences of Indigenous patients in rural, remote, and urban Canadian settings.  The guide also identifies opportunities for actions to address these pervasive and persistent inequalities.

“Family physicians play a crucial role in providing health care to Indigenous people,” says the CFPC’s Executive Director and CEO, Francine Lemire, MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, CAE. “This document was created in an effort to help our members advocate for improved health equity in their clinical practice, through local communities, in education and continuing professional development, and in advocacy with Indigenous organizations.

“Systemic racism is a significant contributor to the disparity in health outcomes experienced by Indigenous peoples compared with other groups,” adds the IHWG Co-Chair, Dr Darlene Kitty, MD CCFP. “We encourage family physicians to reflect on the many ways in which they can contribute to a positive and culturally safe environment for Indigenous patients and their families, to ensure the delivery of high-quality care.”

The IHWG works in partnership with Indigenous communities and organizations. The working group aims to enhance the health, well-being, and access to quality health care of Indigenous peoples by supporting education, practice, and family physician advocacy.


About the College of Family Physicians of Canada

The CFPC represents more than 35,000 members across the country. It is the professional organization responsible for establishing standards for the training, certification and lifelong education of family physicians. The College provides quality services and programs, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of family physicians and the specialty of family medicine. The CFPC accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools.


Susan Monic
Manager, Communication Services
College of Family Physicians of Canada
905-629-0900 ext 432



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