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Cultural Competency Modules

At the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), our commitment to care includes sensitivity to patients and their families, including stages of development, lifestyles, language, spirituality, and culture.

Inuit children and families come from a different culture, with a different perception of, and access to healthcare. As such, in collaboration with the Government of Nunavut, Tungasuvvingat Inuit, the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre and Ottawa Health Services Network Inc., CHEO’s team has developed four modules as part of an ongoing process to better support health practitioners to provide the best possible care to Inuit and to improve the hospital's cultural competency.


  • Module One: "Welcome to Qikiqtaaluk"
    Module one of the Qikiqtaaluk Cultural Competency series is for anyone interested in learning more about Inuit culture. The module provides viewers with an introductory understanding of the geography, history and demographics of the Qikiqtaaluk region. It also addresses the profound changes Inuit people experienced during the period of forced relocation, the legacy of residential schooling and the loss of mobility and traditional lifestyle that led to an increase in healthcare issues for Inuit people.
  • Module Two: "Inuit Culture in Qikiqtaaluk"
    This module explores Inuit values, traditions, and way of life, which are deeply ingrained in Inuit communities, as well as how these impact the provision of culturally competent care. The information in this module addresses some of the concerns Inuit people may be experiencing, such as fatigue from long travel times, home sickness, and adjusting to the cultural change from being in a large urban setting, among others.
  • Module Three: "Health Care in Qikiqtaaluk"
    This module, describes some of the unique challenges of providing healthcare services in Nunavut. It also addresses some of the causes of common health problems of Inuit people in Nunavut. Additionally, this module explains how the healthcare system is structured in this territory, as well as how the system is working towards Inuit health needs.
  • Module Four: “Cultural Competency in your Practice"
    What is cultural competence and how does it affect healthcare? This module explains cultural competency and cultural safety within a healthcare system. In Canada, the majority of healthcare practitioners treating Inuit patients are not Inuit, which can lead to a lack of understanding, trust and compliance. When a healthcare practitioner is culturally competent and acknowledges cultural differences, they are better able to overcome language barriers and social challenges with Inuit patients, ultimately allowing for better health outcomes.

Government of Nunavut Endorsements

“The modules do a good job of highlighting important aspects of Inuit culture that will be helpful for physicians to know when treating Inuit patients. It also… inform[s] the work health care providers too. The modules are culturally appropriate and provide relevant information about Inuit history and culture.”

  • Tuttarviit Member
  • Government of Nunavut
  • Shuvinai Mike

“I find this to be very helpful…the information referred to are from recognized groups such as NAHO, NTI and ITK… so the efforts to make health friendly to me are sufficient to know the Department is serious about culture.”

  • Tuttarviit Member
  • Government of Nunavut
  • Shuvinai Mike

More information

For more information about Inuit cultural competency visit the Health NU' Orientation App:

Landscape photo with Inukshuk, overlooking the hills

 Photograph by Michael H. Davies, used with permission by author


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