Indigenous Self-Identification

Providence Health Care (PHC) is committed to building a better, safer relationship with Indigenous Peoples and communities, and to closing the gap in health and social disparities for Indigenous people in British Columbia. Part of this commitment is making it safer for patients, clients, and residents to tell us that they identify as Indigenous and if they would like access to culturally relevant resources and supports while receiving care from us.

What happens

As part of every patient registration, PHC staff ask everyone who registers at our sites if they would like to self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit.)

  • No assumptions are being made about who is Indigenous and who is not. If you have Indigenous ancestry, you may self-identify. This is based on how you define your identity. You do not need to provide proof.
  • Your answers to any of the questions will not negatively affect the care you receive. The purpose of asking you is to give you the opportunity to be supported by the Indigenous Wellness team.
  • Your answers are voluntary, private, and confidential.
  • You can choose not to answer. If you choose not to answer, you will be asked the next time you register for in-patient services. You can also request to never be asked again.
  • If you say yes, staff will record your answer to your electronic health record. This can be changed at any time.
  • Our goal is to provide you with culturally safe care and integrate traditional practices if requested, into your care plan. Knowing how you identify is important to providing you with relevant health care services.

If you self-identify as Indigenous

  • You will be asked a few more questions including whether you are First Nations, Métis or Inuit.
  • You will also be asked if you want to receive Indigenous Wellness Team support and services to help you through your stay.

Privacy and confidentiality

  • All information is completely confidential and protected by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • Identifying data associated with Indigenous patients allows PHC to understand Indigenous health outcomes and experiences, and through that, to seek improvements to PHC’s services that will benefit Indigenous health and wellness. PHC has implemented processes with key Indigenous partners that will guide our safe, confidential, and secure use of Indigenous-specific data. Your privacy will be ensured through our rigorous information security processes, our adherence to provincial privacy legislation, and through the analysis and reporting of anonymous, aggregated data only.


If you want to learn more about why we are asking these questions, or to provide feedback about your experience, please contact PHC’s Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation Team at: