Engagement on Indigenous Perspectives on Medical Assistance in Dying

From Health Canada

Current status: Open

Opened on August 17, 2023 and will close to new input on June 30, 2024.

Health Canada has launched an online engagement tool to gather the views and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples on medical assistance in dying (MAID). This online tool is part of a broader engagement process underway in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples on MAID in 2023 and 2024.

Join in: how to participate

We hope that you join the discussion and share it with your family, friends and community. You can participate by questionnaire, by poll, by sharing your story, or by email or mail. Choose one or all ways to participate. Please contact us in the language of your choice.

Participate by questionnaire

Complete the questionnaire. All responses are anonymous.

Participate by poll

Answer the poll. All responses are anonymous.

Participate by sharing your story

Share your story. Stories shared through this function are public.

Send us an email

Send an email with your ideas or comments to ieolc.sfva@hc-sc.gc.ca.

Participate by mail

Send your comments to:

Indigenous End-of-Life Care Policy
Strategic Policy Branch
Mail Stop 1904
4th Floor Jeanne Mance Building
200 Eglantine Driveway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

Who is the focus of this engagement

This online engagement is open to any person self-identifying as Indigenous in Canada, including:

If you don't identify as Indigenous and would like to share your perspectives and views on MAID policy, email ieolc.sfva@hc-sc.gc.ca.

Purpose of engagement

This online engagement tool will help support the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives and experiences in federal policy on MAID. The information collected through the online tool and broader engagement activities will be used to build a What We Heard report on the views and experiences of Indigenous Peoples on MAID, planned for release in 2025. The What We Heard report will help to guide culturally safe and informed MAID policy at all levels of government and respect the diversity of Indigenous Peoples.

Health Canada is committed to walking the shared path of reconciliation guided by the Principles respecting the Government of Canada's Relationship with Indigenous Peoples and aligned with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We recognize the ongoing barriers to receiving culturally safe end-of-life care, including:

Health Canada is dedicated to working with Indigenous Peoples to address these challenges and improve access to culturally appropriate end-of-life care services, including MAID.

Broader engagement approach

Health Canada has begun a 2-year engagement process to hear from First Nations, Inuit and Métis, including urban Indigenous People, non-status/off-reserve Indigenous People, Two-Spirit, LGBTQQIA+ and gender diverse people, on MAID. During this time, we are partnering with some Indigenous organizations who are leading their own community engagement activities. Indigenous-led engagement will be supported by a series of national knowledge exchange roundtables in 2023 and 2024.

Our next steps will combine knowledge shared through the online tool and views expressed through other Indigenous-led and Health Canada-led engagement activities. This will help inform an approach to MAID policy design that is more:

If you would like to get involved further, email ieolc.sfva@hc-sc.gc.ca.

What we are hearing

As part of public engagements in 2020, Health Canada and the Department of Justice hosted a roundtable on MAID with Indigenous Peoples. During the roundtable, we heard from:

Participants shared some of the unique challenges around MAID in their communities. Specifically, the historic and ongoing harms of colonialism, and the intergenerational trauma experienced by individuals and communities, have resulted in health inequities and barriers to accessing health services for Indigenous communities across Canada. This is made even more difficult by other forms of intersectional discrimination, such as:

Roundtable participants noted that access to MAID is more limited in remote and northern communities. Many said that cultural safety was an important safeguard needed for Indigenous Peoples, and that it would be important to train health care providers to deliver culturally safe care.

Attendees shared that culturally safe MAID included:

Participants also spoke about the:

Participants also shared the importance of respectful collaboration and engagement between healthcare workers and Elders, spiritual leaders, Knowledge Keepers and Cultural Carriers. They emphasized that collaboration is key to support the culturally safe provision of MAID to eligible individuals, that reflects the distinct needs of:

Related information

Medical assistance in dying (MAID)

Contact us

Contact us in the language of your choice.

Indigenous End-of-Life Care Policy
Strategic Policy Branch
Mail Stop 1904
4th Floor Jeanne Mance Building
200 Eglantine Driveway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

Email: ieolc.sfva@hc-sc.gc.ca


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