Grants supporting Indigenous health

Stand Up for Indigenous Health

What is Stand Up for Indigenous Health?

‘Stand Up for Indigenous Health’ is an immersive, simulation-based tool for teaching the Indigenous social determinants of health to health care providers. By learning about these complex social factors using an immersive approach, students will feel connected to the stories of Indigenous people in Canada and their lived experiences of resilience, poverty, racism and other forms of social inequity. This, in turn, can promote the cultural empathy needed to provide safe intercultural health care.

During the Stand Up for Indigenous Health simulation, participants are placed in the role of an Indigenous person in Canada from an urban, rural or remote setting. In this role, they must undergo a job hiring process, and interact and make decisions around challenging scenarios. These scenarios are related to social determinants of Indigenous health specific to the participant’s assigned identity and geographic living situation. For example, participants may face a scenario where they have to decide if they will use their limited funds to pay their hydro bill or purchase food for their family.

The latter portion of the workshop consists of a facilitated discussion on the challenges faced by Indigenous people in Canada and on public policy that leads to a healthy and equitable society. The entire simulation and discussion is led by trained medical students referred to as “Change Agents”.

How was Stand Up for Indigenous Health developed?

Stand Up for Indigenous Health was developed by Dr. Amanda Sauvé, Dr. Adriana Cappelletti and Dr. Latif Murji. Dr. Sauvé is Métis from Ontario and board representative for the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. Dr. Cappelletti and Dr. Murji are Indigenous Allies. All three are primary care physicians. 

In developing this simulation-based tool, a community-based participatory research approach was used to generate culturally representative and appropriate scenarios. Several Indigenous physicians and leaders in cultural safety training reviewed the scenarios and support the use of this tool for training medical students and other health care providers.

What’s next?

Stand Up for Indigenous Health debuted at a pre-conference workshop held ahead of the 2019 Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME). This workshop prepared attendees to be potential leaders in expanding and implementing this learning tool. It also provided an opportunity for Indigenous leaders and Allies to network and create a circle of support underlying Stand Up for Indigenous Health.

Following CCME, efforts continue to implement this learning tool into medical curriculum. 

For more information on Stand up for Health visit,

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Healthy Canadians Grants Program

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Stand up for Indigenous Health

Learn about the first simulation-based tool for teaching about the factors that affect the health of Indigenous people in Canada.