Indigenous Health

The SOGC is committed to advancing women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights by addressing health inequities and promoting timely access to quality, culturally safe care. The health of marginalized and vulnerable populations is particularly at risk and requires increased attention to social, cultural and economic factors that can influence health outcomes.

Since 2006, indigenous health has been a key pillar of SOGC’s strategic direction. In partnership with indigenous and non-indigenous stakeholders and organizations, the SOGC develops policies, guidelines, continuing medical education sessions, and health promotion materials. Our goal is to advance indigenous health by providing the support and resources that health professionals need to deliver culturally competent care.

The SOGC also works in collaboration with indigenous communities to advance culturally safe healthcare and healing. The Indigenous Women’s Health Initiative Committee is actively engaged in promoting health equity for indigenous women and offers their expertise to advance community-led projects and programs.

As part of this work, with the help of many SOGC member volunteers, initiatives contribute to the following areas of expertise:

  • Strengthening capacity of health centers to deliver quality culturally-safe care
  • Development and adaptation of clinical guidelines
  • Implementation of quality assurance tools and support mechanisms
  • Advocacy and public education

The SOGC has developed a Clinical Practice Guideline and Policy Statements to support these activities:

  • Eighteen percent of all the women in Canada - many of them indigenous - live in rural or remote communities. With routine birthing evacuations, indigenous women are regularly forced to experience birth alone, far from their homes, families and support systems. For many healthy pregnant women, this has resulted in stressful, lonely and costly births with negative health outcomes. The SOGC strongly supports returning birth to rural and remote communities for low-risk pregnancies. To read more, see The SOGC Policy Statement on Returning Birth to Aboriginal, Rural, and Remote Communities.