San’yas training supports Indigenous cultural safety

Can-SOLVE CKD is committed to meaningful, respectful engagement with Indigenous peoples in Canada in everything we do.

To support this engagement and foster strong partnerships, several members of the Can-SOLVE CKD operations team are participating in the highly regarded San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training program.

Developed by the Indigenous Health program of British Columbia’s Provincial Health Services Authority, San’yas is a self-paced online course designed primarily for non-Indigenous researchers, clinicians, and other professionals working in health care and other sectors. The program is led by skilled facilitators who guide participants through a variety of interactive modules.

San’yas means “knowledgeable” in the Kwak’wala language, and the program strives to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to promote safer and more equitable health care experiences for Indigenous people.

The course content includes a focus on colonial history, including the legacy of residential schools, as well as the context for understanding racism, stereotyping, discrimination, and social disparities and inequities. It also provides grounding in effective communication and relationship-building skills.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the San’yas training,” said Heather Harris, Director of the Can-SOLVE CKD Network, who completed the San’yas program in fall 2017. “I’ve taken away some deep learnings from the course material and an understanding of a part of Canadian history that I did not learn in school. For me, San’yas training is a step along the pathway to reconciliation. I’ve recommended the training to the rest of the operations team and am encouraged that several members have already enrolled.”

Educational opportunities such as San’yas support Can-SOLVE CKD’s efforts to create a culturally safe space for Indigenous people to participate in all aspects of patient-oriented research. Through a collaboration with our Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council (IPERC), Diabetes Action Canada, and the Indigenous Health program of BC’s Provincial Health Services Authority, we are developing a cultural safety learning pathway that will include a training component for health researchers and policy-makers. This pathway, combined with the wisdom and guidance of our patient partners, will help ensure that Indigenous ways of knowing and being are integrated into all of our work.

Quick facts:

  • To date, more than 40,000 people across Canada have completed the San’yas program
  • San’yas is offered in BC and has expanded to other provinces including Ontario and Manitoba
  • Courses are offered in the areas of health, mental health, children and youth, and justice
  • Advanced courses are offered at no cost to those who have completed the Core training

Learn more:

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