Our 4 CAPs

Aboriginal Health CAP

Improving the health of urban Aboriginal communities

The purpose of the Aboriginal Health Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is to assist and advise St. Michael’s Hospital in providing culturally aware, sensitive, competent, safe and holistic services for individuals and families within the local First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) communities.

This unique CAP is a first for Toronto hospitals and serves as an effective forum for dialogue among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples involved in the health sector.

Since its formal establishment in 2011, this CAP has been using an Aboriginal traditional model based on the Medicine Wheel (contained in the Terms of Reference). This articulates a clear vision, guides developing relationships, shares knowledge and identifies specific actions such as educating health and social service agency staff about cultural competency, advocating for accessible care and advising on Aboriginal recruitment and health research.


"This is the first time a hospital has reached out to us in a meaningful way." – Aboriginal community member

Some key achievements of this CAP include:

  • Establishment of a formal St. Michael’s CAP after a three year process of building personal and professional relationships among Hospital and Aboriginal agency leaders and elders
  • Development of an Aboriginal Stroke Care Guide, prepared through broad community consultation which was eventually incorporated into an Aboriginal health curriculum at the University of Toronto
  • Arrangement of Aboriginal Cultural Safety Training to members of all St. Michael’s Community Advisory Panels, which allowed for discussion of Aboriginal health issues in broader forums across the hospital
  • Assistance in the placement of an Aboriginal Medical Lead role and Aboriginal Patient Navigator roles at St. Michael's through a partnership with the Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit at Cancer Care Ontario
  • Support of the creation of Well Living House, an Indigenous infant, child and family health and well-being research centre based at St. Michael’s and the formal signing of a governance partnership between St. Michael's and the Council of Grandparents to oversee the research
  • Guidance on recruitment strategies to increase self-identified Aboriginal staff at St. Michael’s