Our current climate of healing and repatriation demands an organized and respectful health systems response for Indigenous populations. Such a systems response needs to be based on values, ethics, and trust and be strategically aligned to inform good governance and policy.

This project highlights perceptions of Indigenous values that underlie and direct effective stewardship of health systems in circumpolar countries including the United States, Canada, Finland, and Norway. A collaborative, participatory, consensus-based workshop was held in 2013 with subject-area experts. From this workshop, nine health-systems values were identified and described: humanity, cultural responsiveness, teaching, nourishment, community voice, kinship, respect, holism, and empowerment. 


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

ICHR Lead: Susan Chatwood, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research & Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto


  • Francois Paulette, Stanton Territorial Health Authority, Elders Council, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada Ross Baker, PhD, University of Toronto, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
  • Astrid Eriksen, PhD Cand. University of Tromsø, Centre for Sami Health Research, Tomsø, Norway
  • Ketil Hansen, PhD, University of Tromsø, Centre for Sami Health Research Tomsø, Norway
  • Heidi Eriksen, MD, PhD, Municipality of Utsjoki, Health Care Centre Utsjoki, Finland
  • Vanessa Hiratsuka, PhD, Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska, United States
  • Josée Lavoie, PhD, Director, Manitoba First Nations – Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Wendy Lou, PhD, University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Ian Mauro, PhD, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
  • James Orbinski, MD, MA, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Nathalie Pabrum, RM, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Hanna Retallack, BSc, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • Adalsteinn Brown, PhD, University of Toronto, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation Toronto, Ontario, Canada