Dementia Information for Indigenous Peoples: First Nations, Métis and Inuit

We hope this page offers a space for sharing about dementia care in different Indigenous communities across the country.

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Boozhoo. Aaniin. Tân’si. Shé:kon. Pjila’si. Oki. Gilakas’la. Atelihai. Ullukkut. 

Do you have a story to share? Are there things we should add to this page? We invite you to share your story or community resources that might be helpful for others. Please send suggestions, questions or concerns to us anytime at publications@alzheimer.ca.

On this page, we are posting publicly available Indigenous dementia care tools and resources. We are also sharing news stories that reflect experiences, perspectives and voices from different Indigenous communities.

Indigenous dementia care tools and resources

Satellite image of Canada

Anishinaabek Dementia Care. This website helps Anishinaabek communities seeking local and culturally relevant information about dementia. anishinaabekdementiacare.ca

Indigenous Cognition and Aging Awareness Exchange. This website includes dementia factsheets and information about the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment tool.
i-caare.ca

The Four Sacred Medicines. This pamphlet from Anishnawbe Health Toronto provides information on the four sacred medicines: tobacco, sage, cedar, and sweetgrass, including what each medicine may be used for, and how to take care of the medicines. This pamphlet has been identified as a resource that supports Indigenous culture in long-term care by the Ontario Caring Advisory Circle.
clri-ltc.ca/resource/the-four-sacred-medicines

The Indigenous Cognitive Health Program. This page provides information about an initiative within the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. This initiative aims to build capacity for healthy, respectful, dementia research partnerships between Indigenous communities and/or organizations and researchers.
ccna-ccnv.ca/indigenous-cognitive-health

Dementia Case-Finding Tool for Indigenous People in Canada. This video on the Laurentian University YouTube channel describes how a multidisciplinary team collaborated to validate the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (CICA). 
https://youtu.be/RMV5_JnqDd4

Aging and Dementia. This page on the Native Women's Association of Canada website talks about a few different projects that the association has been working on around dementia. This page includes a link for downloading a toolkit on caring for yourself and a loved one while living with dementia.
nwac.ca/policy/aging-and-dementia

Supporting Indigenous Culture in Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes: Needs Assessment. Ontario’s Indigenous people have unique cultural requirements that must be supported by health care, including long-term care. This report summarizes the findings from a needs assessment to explore strategies to better support Ontario’s Indigenous people in long-term care homes.
clri-ltc.ca/resource/supporting-indigenous-culture-in-ontarios-long-term-care-homes-needs-assessment/

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Indigenous Populations in Canada: Prevalence and Risk Factors. This paper is produced by the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. It summarizes what is known about the prevalence of dementias, the challenges associated with diagnosing dementias, and the risk factors associated with the development of dementias in Indigenous populations.
clri-ltc.ca/resource/alzheimers-disease-and-related-dementias-in-indigenous-populations-in-canada-prevalence-and-risk-factors/

An Inuit-focused home for Elders with dementia and Alzheimer's. In this video on Livingmyculture.ca, an initiative of Canadian Virtual Hospice, Piita Irniq talks about how he brought Inuit culture and food to a southern facility caring for Inuit Elders with dementia. 
livingmyculture.ca/culture/inuit/an-inuit-focused-home-for-elders-with-dementia-and-alzheimers/

Overcoming barriers to culturally safe and appropriate dementia care services and supports for Indigenous peoples in Canada. This paper created by the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health aims to identify the challenges and burdens Indigenous people in Canada face in accessing culturally safe and appropriate dementia care services and supports, and suggests ways of overcoming these challenges.
nccih.ca/docs/emerging/RPT-Culturally-Safe-Dementia-Care-Halseth-EN.pdf

Indigenous Peoples and Dementia. The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia offers resources for Mi'kmaw communities. This includes an Information card, a booklet called, The Story is Mine, a tool to record the life story of the person with dementia, and some helpful websites.
https://admin.alzheimer.ca/ns/en/indigenous-peoples 

10 helpful resources to support Indigenous Peoples living with dementia. The Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health created this information sheet as a part of their Behaviours in Dementia Toolkit.
https://behavioursindementia.ca/resource/11-helpful-resources-to-support-indigenous-peoples-living-with-dementia/

Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Aging Resources. On this page you can find multiple resources on the Centre for Education and Research on Aging’s for Indigenous people in Canada. sheet as a part of their Behaviours in Dementia Toolkit.
cerah.lakeheadu.ca/resources/indigenous-health/

Palliative Care Resources. On this page you can find multiple resources on the Centre for Education and Research on Aging’s for palliative care, such as resources for Advance Care Planning.
cerah.lakeheadu.ca/resources/palliative-care-resources/

Educational Archives. On this page you can find educational resources, such as previous webinars hosted by the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health.
cerah.lakeheadu.ca/knowledge-translation/education-archives/

Supporting the Journey Home: Growing the Community Bundle to Care for those with Serious Illness. This is an educational program designed for interdisciplinary health care providers working in First Nations community settings. The program promotes early integration of a palliative care approach in community care teams. Currently, this program is only offered in Ontario. This program is funded by Indigenous Services Canada – First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Ontario Region.
palliativecareinnovation.com

Beginning the journey into the spirit world. A resource that summarizes factors contributing to palliative and end-of-life care experiences for First Nations, Inuit and Métis; highlights areas for action in palliative and end-of-life care based on priorities, gaps, challenges and needs expressed by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and communities; and identifies innovative and Indigenous community-based models of care and person-centred approaches to palliative and end-of-life care.
partnershipagainstcancer.ca/topics/indigenous-palliative-care-approaches/summary/

Knowledge Circle. This is a resource hub created by the First Nations Health Managers Association with links to a variety of resources in different topics, including Anti-Indigenous Racism, Financial Assistance, Indigenous Services Canada, Traditional Practices and much more.
fnhma.ca/knowledge-circle

Certified First Nations Health Managers Program. The First Nations Health Management Association offers a certification program leading to professional designation. Health managers from across Canada can take the professional program to expand their knowledge.
fnhma.ca/cfnhm-certification

Indigenous Health Professional Retention and Recruitment Toolkit. This toolkit, create by SE Health, supports the retention and recruitment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous healthcare professionals who promote cultural safety.
fnim.sehc.com/indigenous-health-professional-retention-recruitment-toolkit/

Advancing Indigenous Policy and Practice – Companion Courses and Resources Toolkit. This toolkit, created by SE Health, provides a pathway to navigate resources relevant to Indigenous perspectives on palliative, end-of-life care, and grief.
fnim.sehc.com/aipp-companion-courses-and-resources/

News articles about dementia care and Indigenous peoples

Inukshuk by the ocean in Vancouver

'It brought back some memories': Dementia study focuses on technology. This May 2019 article from the Leader-Post in Regina talks about a project providing people with dementia with iPads loaded with apps with five First Nations languages.
leaderpost.com/news/local-news/it-brought-back-some-memories-dementia-study-focuses-on-technology

Indigenous female caregivers' experiences for a loved one with memory loss. In this March 2021 video, researcher Danielle Alcock, member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, talks about storytelling in the lives of female Indigenous caregivers supporting a loved one with memory loss. alzheimer.ca/en/research/meet-our-researchers/indigenous-female-caregivers-experiences-loved-one-memory-loss

Exploring appropriate approaches to dementia care for Indigenous communities in Canada. In this talk co-hosted with the McMaster University Indigenous Research Institute, researcher Kristin Jacklin talks about some of the outcomes from an Ontario research strategy to address knowledge concerning dementia in Indigenous populations.
gilbrea.mcmaster.ca/events/exploring-appropriate-approaches-dementia-care-indigenous-communities-canada

The circle of life: Indigenous knowledge about dementia in Canada. In this case study, researcher Kristin Jacklin and Karen Pitawanakwat, Registered Nurse and Community Researcher for Naandwechige-Gamig Wikwemikong Health Centre and member of the WikWemikong Unceded Reserve, write about the experiences, needs and understandings around dementia in Indigenous communities.
alzint.org/news-events/news/the-circle-of-life-indigenous-knowledge-about-dementia-in-canada

The birth of a dementia screening tool for Canadian Indigenous populations. This December 2019 article from the Manitoulin Expositor talks about how teams of researchers, community members and health-care providers on Manitoulin Island have spent years working on the problem of inadequate dementia and cognitive disorder diagnoses for Indigenous peoples in Canada, culminating in the November 2019 release of the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (CICA) tool.
manitoulin.com/the-birth-of-a-dementia-screening-tool-for-canadian-indigenous-populations

Culturally appropriate dementia education and resources in Canada. This article from the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health discusses dementia tools, education and resources that may be useful in Indigenous contexts in Canada.
issuu.com/nccah-ccnsa/docs/alzheimers-disease-and-related_dementias-in-indige/s/16648295

Dementia in Indigenous Communities. This 2017 segment from TVO's show The Agenda discusses how dementia manifests differently in Indigenous populations.
tvo.org/video/dementia-in-indigenous-communities

Do you have a story to share? Are there things we should add to this page? We invite you to share your story or community resources that might be helpful for others. Please send suggestions, questions or concerns to us anytime at publications@alzheimer.ca.

Last updated: March 7, 2024