National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21, 2021
Monday June 21st will be Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada and is the national 25th anniversary of celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. End-of-life care is significant within Indigenous culture. While adjustments for local Indigenous culture must be accounted for, there are a variety of resources available. Cancer Care Ontario has created a palliative care toolkit for Indigenous families and communities, including an Indigenous definition of palliative care.
The toolkit also includes personal stories and traditional teachings for individuals and families in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who are experiencing grief related to a loved one’s cancer or other life- threatening illness. Canadian Virtual Hospice has researched the importance of end of life care among Indigenous populations. The research project, entitled “Completing the Circle: End of Life Care with Aboriginal Families,” acts on the recommendations suggested in academic literature for cross-cultural end-of-life care. It may be found here. More information on this resource may be found at Palliative Care Toolkit for Indigenous Communities.
To First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, palliative care means "comfort care"
Kind, compassionate care that is given with understanding and respect Care that relieves a person’s pain and symptoms for the best quality of life Care that honours a person’s spiritual beliefs, traditions and customs Care for the whole person and support for the whole family
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