As part of our increasing engagement with Indigenous communities and our commitment to culturally safe client-centred patient care, BCEHS is expanding our Indigenous Health program.
BCEHS first introduced Indigenous Patient Navigators in early 2021 as part of the response to In Plain Sight, a report by Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond on systemic Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination throughout BC’s health care system.
Indigenous Patient Navigators (IPNs) ensure the provision of care is culturally safe and client-centred for both Indigenous patients, families, communities and their health care providers. IPNs also provide support and advocacy for Indigenous patients by facilitating and coordinating access to health care services, addressing cultural and spiritual needs, and networking with Indigenous and non-Indigenous health system and community partners. IPNs also support and present on Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training and education for BCEHS staff and Provincial Health Services Authority employees.
In 2021, there was one manager and three IPNs within BCEHS. Now the program has expanded to include a director, two managers, five IPNs and a project coordinator. The newest IPNs are John Warren (Interior Districts Central and East) and Summer StoneChild (Vancouver Island).
John Warren has worked in Vancouver, in the north and around the southern Interior as a primary care paramedic, including 14 years as a full-time unit chief. John is of First Nation and European decent with both grandparents on his mother’s side being from the Bear Clan of the Oneida Nation, which is part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy.
John looks forward to living and learning in the unceded territory of the Secwépemc, Ktunaxa and Sinixt peoples. He hopes to blend his personal and professional experiences to contribute toward improved outcomes for the Indigenous people of B.C.
Summer StoneChild is Plains Cree from Peepeekisis Cree Nation, and is known as Woman Who Brings the Rainbow. Peepeekisis Cree Nation is in the File Hills area of Treaty 4 territory in what is known as Saskatchewan.
Summer has a long history as an Indigenous frontline health care worker at the Elbow River Healing Lodge, part of the Indigenous Health Program at Alberta Health Services in Calgary. Serving the urban Indigenous community has provided Summer with essential experience in understanding the social determinants of health facing Indigenous people of a variety of socio-economic statuses.
As a new resident of Vancouver Island, Summer StoneChild she feels grateful and humbled to live and work in traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Lekwungen, Songhees, Malahat, and W̱SÁNEĆ.
The Indigenous Health Program will expand as BCEHS continues on its cultural safety and humility journey. As part of the journey, San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety and Anti-Indigenous Racism Response Training is available to all BCEHS employees.
Top left to right: Natalee Dennis, Manager, Indigenous Health; Amy Poll, Director, Community and Indigenous Programs; Lorna Paul, IPN (Northern Districts); Lyndsay Kay, Manager First Responder Services
Bottom left to right: Geraldine Elkins, IPN (Interior Districts West); Jordan Stehelin-Holland, IPN (Lower Mainland); Dakota Stone, Manager, Indigenous Health
For general inquiries about BCEHS Indigenous Health Program, contact:
Learn more about PHSA Indigenous Health.