Topic: 1

How to Use this Resource

Download a PDF version of this page... PDFHPCO - Topic 1

This resource acknowledges that there are many different values, beliefs, and practices across and within Indigenous communities regarding care for people who are very sick. To respect this diversity, the topics presented here situate the practical guidelines and support within the broader philosophy of the Indigenous Wellness Framework. The Indigenous Wellness Framework was used to provide a shared foundation for understanding health and balance while also being inclusive to diverse cultural and spiritual practices. It is the hope that this resource will provide a basic foundation upon which individuals, families and communities will take the teachings in this manual, and adapt the practices to suit their own beliefs and circumstances.

Individuals are encouraged to photocopy and share the topics and use the information in any way that is helpful to them.

“There are people that are very sick in our community and we want to help them and we know that is their wish to stay at home for as long as possible and that is what we want to do.” (Internal Health Care Provider, Naotkamegwanning First Nation)

Caregivers may be a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a relative, a community. Some caregivers are caring for the frail and elderly, some for a newly diagnosed cancer patient, and some will be caring for someone who has a life-limiting illness.

Regardless of the unique circumstances of each situation, we do know that all caregiving can be incredibly rewarding and it can be stressful too. Our goal in creating this website is to assist you in finding the support you need, exactly when you need it.

Visit the website as many times as you like. Look for the topic that will help you in that moment. You may never need some of the topics and you may come back and visit the same topic many times.


  1. Choose the topic that you are most interested in right now.
  2. When you open the topic, you will always see 3 sub-topics:
    • What You Need to Know which will provide you with essential information
    • Walk in These Shoes which will provide you with some practical scenarios related to the topic
    • Additional Resources that are relevant to the topic that you can explore now or later.

This resource has been written with you, the caregiver in mind. When you read “you” that means you, the caregiver. When you read “the person” that refers to the person you are caring for.

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario wishes to acknowledge the support and assistance of First Nations’ reviewers in the creation of this resource. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the creators of the following First Nations’ resources for allowing the use of their material:

Images for topics have been graciously provided by the First Nations Inuit Métis Engagement, Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit and Ontario Palliative Care Network Secretariat.

Holly Prince. (2017). Preparing for the Journey: Caring for Indigenous People Who Are Seriously Ill, Version 1: Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON.
Resources | Centre for Education and Research on Aging ... retrieved from

Click here to view the practical resource manual: Preparing for the Journey: Caring for Indigenous People Who Are Seriously Ill

“Caring for the Terminally Ill: Honouring the Choices of the People Person/Family/Community 3rd Edition, August 2014
“Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association First Nations Training Manual”

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario also wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for their support in the creation of these resources.