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Dialogue & Storywork

Dialogue & Storywork

The Dialogue and Storywork project was designed to improve the transitions and outcomes of First Nations patients during their cancer journeys.

Eight Transition Support Resources were produced to promote dialogue and discussion about the cancer journey by families, communities, primary care providers, and cancer care providers in cities. They come from stories from 28 individuals representing the First Nations patient and family perspective and from responses from 17 primary and oncology care providers in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories.

Choose a topic you would like to start with, watch the video, download the matching guide and think and talk about the questions in the guide. If you will be helping a group view and discuss the topics, there is a facilitator guide to help you out.

Choose a topic:

  • Cultural Wisdom & Strength
  • Care in the Community
  • The Challenge of Communication

    You don't know who to turn to anymore. The only ones that you can talk to is the doctors and the doctors are not telling you very much. For me, it is not much information that he is telling me because I am seeking a lot more, to tell a lot more about what is really going on down there, I want to know.

    Elsie, Chipewyan Prairie First Nation

    How do I support them through their journey if I don’t know what the issues are that are important to them? How would I tackle that? I, I’d love some help from their community in terms of understanding that better.

    Dr. Peters, Yellowknife

    Watch and listen to the storywork and dialogue about communication

    Guide: Communication

    Patient/family/community version | Health care provider version
  • Knowledge and Healthy Living
  • Traditional Medicines
  • What was Heard and What is Expected
  • Immediate Impacts

    A cancer diagnosis can be a really hard time for anyone. Some people say it is "shocking" and "numbing". Others say they don’t hear anything else after the word "cancer". For a First Nations person, there can be more factors that can make the shock even bigger.

    Cancer mean to me is something really dangerous, and you know cancer kills people, so as soon as you hear somebody got cancer already you think of death to the family so it's really scary. Had it really badly in Fort Good Hope so you're living every day thinking of who's going to be next, it might be you. So it was really scary and the word cancer is really scary. And right away if someone, if a nurse or a doctor says someone has cancer right away you think of death, the story gets around really fast in a town.

    Vicki, Fort Good Hope, NT

    One thing that came clear from the videos was the long shadow of the residential school program on our Elders and how that impacts of subsequent generations, … it has made people more hesitant to self-advocate and to interact with what they perceive as authority figures from different systems.

    Dr. Fourier, Terrace, BC

    Watch and listen to the Storywork and dialogue about communication

  • Guide: Family
  • Guide: Shock of Diagnosis
  • Companionship and Travel


    Please let us know if you have comments, suggestions, or questions: and we will put you in touch with the most appropriate person from the project partners.

    About the project

    The Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services and Cancer Control Alberta, Alberta Health Services, were the lead implementing partners working with CancerCare Manitoba, the British Columbia Cancer Agency Centre for the North, and Saint Elizabeth Health Care, as well as First Nations communities in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. The project was funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.