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Indigenous self-identification

BC Cancer is committed to making cancer care more culturally safe for Indigenous people. To further this and to better understand the Indigenous cancer journey, we are inviting patients to voluntarily and confidentially state if they self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit). 

Why am I being asked this? 

By knowing if patients are Indigenous, BC Cancer staff and physicians are better able to support patients and deliver culturally safe care. They can connect patients to Indigenous Patient Navigators and support access and integration of spiritual care and traditional healing practices into the patient’s care plan, should they wish. 

Who is being asked this?

  • All patients at BC Cancer centres that use CST Cerner, our new electronic patient record system, are asked this question during registration, no assumptions are made.
    • BC Cancer - Vancouver started using this new system in 2021, and BC Cancer - Prince George started using the system in June. BC Cancer – Abbotsford will go-live on January 22, 2024. Our other centres will follow in the next few years. 
  • This self-identification is based on how you define your identity and is not based on whether you hold a First Nations Status card or Métis Citizenship.

What happens if I say yes?

  • Your answer will become part of your electronic patient record. It can be changed at any time.
  • You will be asked a few more questions including whether you identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit, whether you have First Nations Status, if you live on or off reserve, or if you are a Métis Citizen. You do not need to provide any proof.
  • You will be asked if you would like to be connected to culturally relevant resources and supports including our Indigenous Patient Navigator.

How will this information be used? 

Do I have to answer? 

  • No, you can choose to not answer. You have the right to self-identify in a way that makes you comfortable. If you would like to change your response, you can do so at any time. No proof is required.
  • If you do identify as Indigenous but do not want to answer, you can still access Indigenous specific supports, such as the Indigenous Patient Navigator through self-referral. 


SOURCE: Indigenous self-identification ( )
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