Last year, the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation Community Engagement team made significant strides towards ensuring the future new St. Paul’s Hospital will deliver culturally safe and appropriate health care to Indigenous patients.

  • To build relationships, the team met with local Chiefs and Councils; welcomed representatives from local host Nations to an Indigenous blessing ceremony at the Station Street construction site; reached out to nearly 40 Indigenous community organizations; and took part in a health fair in support of Indigenous residents living in the Downtown Eastside.
  • To gain insight into how Indigenous services and experiences can be improved the team facilitated eleven patient journey mapping sessions with Indigenous patients, surveyed over 150, plus launched the website to engage Indigenous Peoples from across BC.
  • The invaluable feedback and experiences are making a difference in the design of the new hospital. The perspectives were and are being shared in the detailed design sessions with PCL Construction to ensure the hospital and health campus will feel safe for all Indigenous Peoples.
  • Also in, 2021 Providence and the sovereign host Nations agreed to draft a vision and engagement process that will guide and deliver an Indigenous Wellness and Welcoming Centre at the new campus. The Providence Board has agreed to preserve some land on the campus for this first-of-its-kind facility.

In 2022, the momentum of the IWR team will continue to inform plans for the New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus.
Here is what’s ahead:

  • In 2022, we will continue to conduct meaningful engagement with Host Nations, Indigenous organizations, and Indigenous patients, families, and residents, using what we hear to inform the design of the future campus and the culturally safe and appropriate care to be delivered there.
  • This February, the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation Action Plan launched at The plan outlines the five-year goals and two-year actions to guide Providence’s commitment to addressing systemic anti-Indigenous racism in the healthcare system, advancing Indigenous Wellness, Reconciliation and Human Rights and ensuring the new hospital campus — and all Providence facilities — feel culturally safe and welcoming for Indigenous Peoples.
  • This year the team will continue the process of Indigenous patient journey mapping and embed meaningful opportunities for host Nations and Indigenous businesses into our procurement processes.
  • In 2022, Knowledge Keeper and Elder Advisor roles will be established to provide cultural guidance and leadership. For example, a Knowledge Keeper in traditional medicine from the Squamish Nation will advise us on appropriate plants to include in the new campus’ Traditional Medicine Garden, Wellness Walk, and landscaping to create a healing environment.
  • By the end of the year, the design of the new hospital’s All Nations Sacred Space and the Traditional Medicine Garden will almost be finished. Both spaces, centrally located on the main floor, will allow Indigenous patients to practice ceremony and receive spiritual and cultural care.

If you have a question about this work or the New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus Project ask it here at (log in using the red button and your network login), email or leave a comment below.​