ICS is a provincial program, offered Ontario-wide and administered through the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre.
Anti-Indigenous racial discrimination and bias have profound negative impacts on the health and wellness of Indigenous communities in Ontario. The Ontario ICS Program is focused on supporting Indigenous Health transformation as part of the overall health and social service systems transformation underway in Ontario. The goal is to improve Indigenous healthcare experiences and outcomes by increasing respect and understanding of the unique history and current realities of Indigenous populations. We facilitate and promote transformative decolonizing, Indigenous specific anti-racist education using evidence informed and coordinated approaches and strategies. We also work in collaborative partnerships and support organizational change initiatives, seeking to improve awareness about how colonialism is embedded in services, and motivating people with influence to address anti-Indigenous racial discrimination.
There are a number of ways that the Program advances its mission:
- Core online training for health and social service professionals (see below)
- Continued online training modules (post core training)
- In-person workshops, training and meetings convened to support organizational and system level transformation
- Provincial and national knowledge exchange efforts
- Planning, monitoring, evaluation and research initiatives related to ICS
- Strategic, collaborative partnerships
- Partnership, coordination and promotion of a National ICS Webinar series (link)
Our small Ontario team supports organizational and system level coordination and planning related to ICS. If you have questions, or if you have taken the online training and would like to discuss how to improve Indigenous cultural safety in your organization, we would love to hear from you. We are also interested in collaboration and knowledge exchange opportunities with existing Indigenous cultural safety initiatives.
Core Online ICS Training
Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Training is an interactive and facilitated online training program for all professionals working in the Ontario health and social service systems. It addresses the need for increased Indigenous cultural safety within the system by bringing to light the service provider bias and the legacies of colonization that continue to negatively affect service accessibility and health outcomes for Indigenous people.
The core ICS training courses (both health and mental health available) are designed as foundational courses to increase knowledge and enhance self-awareness. They provide a vital opportunity for health professionals to examine the ways in which their own culture, education and history have shaped their health practice, especially with regard to stereotypes that impact Indigenous experiences of the health system and the present-day realities of colonization that shape Indigenous health and wellness.
The Core ICS courses provide 8 -11 hours (depending on your previous knowledge and your learning style) of online, instructor-facilitated learning over an 8 week period. Online discussions, interactive activities, videos and contributions between peers and the facilitation team provide rich learning opportunities to expand and share information. Upon completion a certificate is awarded and access is provided to a website with further information and post-training resources.
The online Core Health program meets the accreditation criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. It has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 16 Mainpro+ credits. Core ICS Health Training is an accredited Self-Assessment Program eligible for up to 8.0 section 3 credits as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are submitting the online ICS course for accreditation on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada website, you must select “San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety Training” as the SAP Name.
Post online training modules are available on a limited basis for those who have completed the core health or core mental health training:
- From Bystander to Ally
- Unpacking our Colonial Relationship
Developed in Partnership
Core and post online training modules are offered in partnership with San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training. Our Ontario-specific curriculum was developed in collaboration with the San’yas team at the Provincial Health Services Authority of British Columbia, and we continue to work together to address Indigenous-specific bias and discrimination in health and social service systems through the training and other initiatives like the National ICS Learning Series.
Register for Core Online ICS Training
If you would like to register or if you have questions about registration, please contact Leresha Lickers, Provincial Registration & Data Coordinator:
Ontario ICS Program Contact
Diane Smylie, Provincial Director
Michèle Parent-Bergeron, Manager, Research, Evaluation and Monitoring
Leila Monib, Provincial Lead, Education and Systems, Regional Lead, GTA
- Core Online Training Information Sheet (including learning outcomes) (PDF)
- National ICS Learning Series Webinars
- National ICS Learning Series Evaluation Report 2017 (PDF)
- Evidence Brief: Wise Practices for Indigenous-specific Cultural Safety Training (PDF)
- Infographic: Wise Practices for Indigenous-specific Cultural Safety Training (PDF)