Vice President, Indigenous Health and Cultural Safety

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Vice President, Indigenous Health and Cultural Safety

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date October 19, 2021
Deadline Open
Type Full Time
Company Fraser Health
Location British Columbia
Category Vice President
Client Leaders International
Contact Information
[email protected]

Vice President, Indigenous Health and Cultural Safety


Fraser Health is one of the largest of five regional health authorities in BC, working together with the Ministry of Health. Fraser Health is responsible for delivering hospital and community-based health services to more than 1.9 million people in 20 diverse communities from Burnaby to the Fraser Canyon, on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish and Nlaka’pamux Nations. Fraser Health’s communities include a diverse, multicultural population and approximately 62,000 Indigenous Peoples, associated with 32 First Nation communities and 5 Métis chartered communities.

Fraser Health’s services include 12 hospitals (including the Royal Columbian Hospital – Level 1 and the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre – Level 3 Trauma centres), the province’s first state-of-the-art outpatient care and surgery centre, as well as other long-term and community health care facilities in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. More than 40,000 staff, medical staff, and volunteers work toward Fraser Health’s common purpose: to improve the health of the population and the quality of life of the people it serves.

Fraser Health is committed to living its values of respect, caring and trust in pursuit of its vision: Better health.
Best in health care. Fraser Health believes patients and their families are equal and important partners in care.
Fraser Health believes in transparency and is committed to being accountable to its stakeholders.

Indigenous health and cultural safety are key priorities for Fraser Health, as it continues to align its values, services, and operations with the key principles within the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls To Action and the Métis Nation Relationship Accord II. It is equally committed to fulfilling the principles within the Fraser Partnership Accord between the Fraser Salish Regional Caucus, First Nations Health Authority and Fraser Health, along with the Letter of Understanding on the Métis Nation Relationship Accord II.

To learn more, please visit Fraser Health’s website.



Supporting the Vision, Values, Purpose and Commitments of Fraser Health including service delivery that is centered around patients/clients/residents and families:

On our journey towards reconciliation, Fraser Health acknowledges the traditional territories on which we work including the traditional territories of the Coast Salish and Nlaka’pamux Nations. Fraser Health is committed to working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit in the Fraser Health Region to plan and deliver culturally safe health services. We are thankful to the Honourable Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe) and the almost 9,000 Indigenous peoples and health care workers whose courage to share their stories and experiences helped to shape the report, In Plain Sight, and the call to action needed for change. We are committed to implementing all recommendations within our responsibility to lead, and further commit to partner with and support the Ministry of Health to implement all other recommendations.

Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the Vice President is a member of the Executive Team with joint accountability to collaboratively develop and lead Fraser Health strategies and priorities with specific executive leadership on Fraser Health Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility priorities established by the Aboriginal Health Steering Committee. The Vice President works with Indigenous partners, the Aboriginal Health Steering Committee and the Executive Team to integrate Indigenous knowledge into the values, policies and practices of Fraser Health and supports the organization to deliver on mandates and relevant legislation including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. The Vice President advocates for and provides leadership to the broad societal, regional and organizational change required to improve inclusion and reconciliation through strong communication and alignment of organizational programs and services with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls-To-Action.

The Vice President partners with a wide range of senior internal and external stakeholders to foster effective relationships, leadership and service advancement; and ensures an Indigenous lens is applied to the development, review and revision of Fraser Health’s strategies, priorities and initiatives. The Vice President provides resources, support and guidance to senior leaders and relevant departments toward anti-racism, Cultural Safety, Indigenous protocols and creating a welcoming organization where Indigenous employees can thrive and patients receive safe and effective care.


  1. As a member of the Executive Team, contributes to organizational strategy, planning, budgeting, problem solving and reporting. Contributes content for annual reports, Board materials, Aboriginal Health Steering Committee meetings, presentations, public events, recruitment, employee on-boarding and media, as required.
  2. Advises the President and CEO, Executive Team, the Aboriginal Health Steering Committee and senior leaders on matters related to Indigenous health and wellness, and culturally safe service delivery. Advocates to ensure Indigenous voices and patient/provider relationships are based on respect, open and effective dialogue and mutual decision-making. Recognizes Indigenous peoples as partners in the choices that impact them and ensures they are party to and present in their course of care.
  3. Provides timely information and advice related to Indigenous partners, health care innovations and best practices, Cultural Safety, anti-Indigenous racism and emerging issues, etc. Represents Fraser Health in meetings with Indigenous communities and Métis Chartered Nations, with media and the public.
  4. Takes guidance from the Partnership Accord, the Aboriginal Health Steering Committee priorities and Nation Letters of Understanding to nurture meaningful collaboration, partnerships and relationships across and with each nation and community. Advocates for inclusion of Indigenous structures and peoples in health care governance and decision- making and strengthens processes for reciprocal accountability.
  5. Understands the context, culture and service delivery needs for each community; understands how each community accesses services to ensure Fraser Health delivers consistent, reliable, coordinated and appropriate services. Creates trusting relationships and respectfully navigates planning processes through open and honest dialogue, establishing clear and consistent communication and information sharing. Supports colleagues to understand different Indigenous community perspectives and priorities for community well-being.
  6. Provides leadership and develops processes and structures to enable relationship building, communication and collaboration with thirty two First Nations communities and five Métis Chartered Nations and the First Nations Health Authority; maintains regular contact and information sharing across these groups and encourages staff participation in formal gatherings, workshops, conferences, health Improvement activities, etc.
  7. Assesses the allocation of resources to ensure the most effective and efficient application and ensures accountability of the same.
  8. Develops issues-resolution mechanisms that bring together the right decision makers to ensure issues related to culturally safe, efficient and effective care are appropriately based on community needs. Models the principles of Community-Driven, Nation-Based planning and decision making.
  9. Works with internal and external partners to address emerging and urgent issues such as Opioid Overdose Deaths, Suicide Prevention, and Primary and Community Care.
  10. Develops an effective collaboration structure at local, regional and provincial levels with Métis Nation BC and Métis Chartered Communities and the provincial health system as referenced in individual agreements, mandate letters, work plans and funding agreements.
  11. Works with internal and external partners to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism, common stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes and acts that devalue Indigenous personhood, culture, history and experiences; build organizational capacity for increasing Indigenous awareness and cultural safety and humility.
  12. Implements an organization-wide action plan to meet the objectives of BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) and specifically uphold Article 24 of the United Nations Declaration that Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to social and health services. Works with internal and external partners to develop accessible and responsive health care services that ensure equitable health outcomes for Indigenous patients.
  13. Provides leadership to all staff within the portfolio through coaching, guiding, modelling key behaviours, and encouraging dialogue to create a respectful and motivating environment that encourages achievement of maximum potential, personal goals, and performance targets.


  • Fifteen (15) years’ experience of progressively more senior experience working with BC First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit, supplemented by a level of education and training equivalent to a Master’s degree in a related discipline.
  • Experience in the provision of direct service, community-based health care delivery systems and extensive experience interacting with Indigenous people and Indigenous leadership (including Elders, Bands, Tribal Councils, Friendship Centres, Indigenous service providers, etc.).
  • Preference will be given to candidates identifying as Indigenous, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.


Demonstrates the LEADS capabilities of Leads Self, Engages Others, Achieves Results, Develops Coalitions and supports System Transformation.

Professional/Technical Capabilities:

  • Demonstrated experience with Indigenous cultural traditions, ceremonies, protocols among Indigenous Nations across BC.
  • Brings an Indigenous world view and demonstrated knowledge of Indigenous health and cultural safety needs, services and issues, as well as, knowledge of the culture, protocols, and traditions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit to ensure respect, diplomacy and tact to honour established and new relationships as a representative of Fraser Health.
  • Direct experience working with First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit communities and organizations. Understanding of the national landscape in relation to Indigenous health.
  • Demonstrated experience leading transformational change in a large, complex, multi-disciplinary organization, preferably health care systems.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of complex organizational and system dynamics, Indigenous health issues, community development, socioeconomic determinants of health, participatory community based research from a traditional Indigenous context and Indigenous community organizations and traditional protocols, research literature and trends on Indigenous health issues.
  • Demonstrated conflict resolution and influencing skills
  • Demonstrated knowledge in the principals and organizational practices necessary to implement systems wide cultural change and create opportunity at all levels of the organization to develop, implement and evaluate policies, programs and partnerships to enhance diversity equity and inclusion and create a safe and respectful work environment.
  • Has direct experience leading a diverse team and creating a culturally safe and respectful workplace to improve Indigenous inclusion and retention.
  • Demonstrated political acumen and the ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders to solve problems and navigate complex and sensitive Health Authority, Government and Indigenous relationships.
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate both written and verbal.
  • Direct experience working in the field of Health and specifically Indigenous Health would be an asset.
  • Physical ability to perform the duties of the position.


A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.


Laurie Sterrit, Partner
#880-609 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1G5
Phone 1 (778) 838-4569
Email: [email protected]

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