Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 24: Health (18-24)

Nunavut-bound doctors now getting cultural training

March 5, 2024

Health minister calls first round of training delivered in February ‘a success’

Health Minister John Main says doctors planning to practice in Nunavut are receiving cultural competency training. (File photo)

NationTalk: Nunatsiaq News – Doctors who come to work in Nunavut are now required to receive cultural competency training, according to Health Minister John Main.

The Cultural Competency Training initiative “acknowledges the unique history and traditions of Inuit and aims to integrate those insights into a compassionate and comprehensive health care experience,” he said Monday in the legislative assembly in Iqaluit.

Main called it vitally important for doctors to have a solid understanding of Inuit culture and history when they work in the territory.

“In early February, we launched the first delivery of this new training and are pleased to advise it was a success,” he told MLAs.

“[The] next phase of this project will include an online module for physicians to complete before coming to work in Nunavut.”

Main said a grant from Healthcare Excellence Canada, an Ottawa-based non-profit, supports the training.

The cultural training program was developed “by Inuit for physicians to build their foundational understanding of Inuit culture, values and the emotional effects of past traumas and well-being.”

Main didn’t say how many physicians took part in the first sessions or when the online modules would be ready for doctors who plan to work in Nunavut.