About Our Work

At the NCCAH, we are continuing to evolve the vision, mission, and goals of our work. Most recently, in consultation with our advisory committee, we modified our vision to include a stronger recognition of the fundamental structural challenges necessary to addressing inequities in Aboriginal health. These challenges include the need for coordinated and concentrated efforts in policy development, support for self-determination as key to addressing root causes of the health gap, and improved access and control of health services.




Guiding Principles:

  • Respect diversity and the unique interests of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
  • Support the inclusion and participation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the public health system.
  • Incorporate Indigenous knowledge and holistic approaches.
  • Encourage collaboration and capacity building.


Goals and Objectives:

  • Ensure the use of reliable, quality evidence to achieve meaningful impact on the public health system on behalf of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal public health by developing culturally relevant materials and projects.
  • Facilitate a greater role for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in public health initiatives that affect Aboriginal health and well-being.




Ensuring Quality: The NCCAH Peer Review Process

The NCCAH works to ensure our reports, fact sheets, and knowledge-sharing materials meet a high standard of acceptance as viable sources of knowledge in Aboriginal public health. Our goal is also to meet the needs of multiple audiences, including researchers, practitioners, policy makers and First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and organizations.

The quality control process for the development of NCCAH materials involves a rigorous double-blind peer review process that includes both academic as well as community expertise. Our collaborations with a wide range of experts include those identified by areas of expertise, type of expertise (government, academic, non-government organization and others) and specific experience with Aboriginal health research. Our peer review guidelines include considerations governing the conduct of ethical research, and build in processes to help ensure our documents are respectful of Aboriginal culture and diversity.


Our Visual and Oral Identity

Aboriginal peoples, cultures and histories are intimately connected to land and natural environments. The NCCAH has adopted a strong visual emphasis on place in all of our materials, using images with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in a variety of landscapes to support our knowledge sharing mission. We are especially pleased to be building our visual identity with the help of the photography of Fred Cattroll. A Cree from Manitoba, Cattroll has practiced professional photography for twenty years. His work is included in a permanent exhibition in The First Peoples Hall in the Museum of Civilization, and is in the collections of the National Gallery, Canadian Museum of Photography and the National Art Centre. Most recently, he deposited a “life collection” of slides and prints with the Museum of Civilization.

Language and orality are also foundations of Indigenous cultures and identity, and honored as an important means of transmitting knowledge1. As the NCCAH has found through our creation of documentary videos that capture the voice of Elders, youth, parents and guests in some of our major events, audiovisual media's immediacy and impact make them a powerful tool to catalyze further discussion and mobilize energies to work for change. We continue to seek ways to incorporate a strong “story-telling” component that emphasizes voice and the human element in key health initiatives.


1 M. Greenwood, “Children as citizens of First Nations: Linking Indigenous health to early childhood development,” Paeditrac Child Health (10)(9), November 2005, 554.


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