It’s important to support Indigenous cancer patients and families in culturally appropriate ways. Dialogue and Storywork is a project designed to improve the transitions and outcomes of First Nations patients during the cancer journey.
Short stories, based on Indigenous story-telling traditions help show the many values, beliefs, and needs of Indigenous cancer patients. First Nations’ patients and family members, along with their family doctors and oncologists (cancer doctors), from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and the North West Territories, are featured. The videos raise awareness about the cancer journey of Indigenous patients and their families and promotes understanding with healthcare providers.
Video 1: Immediate impacts of a cancer diagnosis (22:59 min)
A cancer diagnosis is a difficult time for everyone. Fear about the future and worry for yourself and your loved ones is common.
Marie Janvier from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about not knowing what to do when her husband’s cancer gets worse. Elsie Lemaigre from Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Alberta, talks about her fear of what others would think and say after her diagnosis of cancer, and how she chose not to talk about it. Lena Keith from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about her long family history with cancer and trying to get her family and relatives to go for screening.
Family doctors and oncologists talk about the diagnosis and impact of cancer, the experience of residential schools, and its impact on future generations.
It is normal to have feelings of shock, fear and uncertainty after a cancer diagnosis.
Jules Nokohoo from Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Alberta, talks about his emotional reaction when he first learned of his brother’s cancer diagnosis. Elsie Lemaigre from Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Alberta, talks about her reaction when the doctor first told her she had cancer.
Family doctors and oncologists talk about cancer, treatment, and coping.
This video focuses on self-care, family, and the need for a community support system.
Jerome Yellowdirt from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about the importance of family and support before, during, and after treatment.
Family doctors and oncologists talk about the importance of family and community support, and the need for helping guide patients through the cancer care system.
This video shares stories of the need for good communication, and the misunderstandings, assumptions, and challenges that may exist.
Marie Janvier and Elsie Lemaigre from Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Alberta, talk about the need for doctors to spend more time explaining cancer and its treatment. Rema Kootenay from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about wanting doctors to listen to a patient’s concerns.
Family doctors and oncologists talking about the need to be clear, give helpful information, and find out concerns to better meet their needs.
This video explores the importance of Indigenous culture and using traditional knowledge with modern medicine.
Rema Kootenay from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about the power of belief and the strength she received from working with her spiritual leader and family members. Two Indigenous caregivers share their stories of caring for a loved one, and the challenges with feeling culturally supported in the hospital.
Traditional medicine has been passed down through generations.
Jerome Yellowdirt from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about his experience using traditional medicine and the challenges of accessing traditional medicines and food. Others talk about taking traditional medicine, living in balance, and eating traditional food.
Family doctors and oncologists talk about how they don’t always understand or know about traditional healing methods and looking at disease and treatment through different cultural lenses.
This video talks about travelling for care and treatment, the benefit of having a companion, and the challenges of being separated from community and family supports.
Jules Nokohoo from Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Alberta, talks about the financial stress of getting care outside the community. Marie Janvier from Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, Alberta, talks about the need to support family, especially those who don’t speak English.
Family doctors and oncologists talk about the importance of ensuring patients and their caregivers who travel have access to more support and assistance.
This video discusses the importance of knowing the facts about cancer, cancer prevention and, healthy living to help in the recovery.
Jerome Yellowdirt from Alexander First Nation, Alberta, talks about the lack of information and awareness about cancer that exists in the communities. He emphasizes the need for patients, families and the community to have correct information on cancer and treatment.
Family doctors and oncologists talk about how important it is to play an active role in your care, having a healthy lifestyle and, getting information when you need it.
For full interviews, visit the Dialogue and Storywork project.
Current as of: July 12, 2023
Author: Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.