Meet Cindy White

Elder-in-Residence, Traditional Healer, Ganawishkadawe-Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health

“Our Elders teach us we need to stand shoulder to shoulder in a circle, and at WCH that’s what’s happened. There’s been a shift from that boardroom table to a circle, and all people are brought into the circle on equal footing—no matter their background.”

Indigenous Peoples in Canada continue to face obstacles to safe, equitable and accessible healthcare. This is the inevitable result of broad stigma and system-wide discrimination rooted in Canada’s history of colonization and society’s inability to understand Indigenous philosophies, world views and healing practices.

Launched in direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, WCH’s Ganawishkadawe-Centre for Wise Practices is making positive and lasting change. The centre is the first hospital-based care centre in Ontario to transform non-Indigenous healthcare spaces by integrating traditional, inclusive practices into the way services are delivered.

The Centre is closing health gaps experienced by Indigenous Peoples by promoting:

  • Community-informed education, research and clinical care
  • Indigenous-led partnership development with diverse Indigenous communities
  • Increased cultural safety across WCH
  • Investment in a culturally inclusive physical space
  • Advancement of Indigenous knowledge translation and wise practices in patient care within WCH and beyond

The Ganawishkadawe-Centre for Wise Practices is now the inspiration for other healthcare facilities in Canada, and our hope is that Indigenous peoples can now receive the care they deserve that respects their traditions, delivered in spaces that are safe and equitable for all peoples.