Report offers baseline to measure improvements in cancer control for Métis in Canada

Cover image of the Métis Cancer Control in Canada Baseline Report

TORONTO — A new report measuring baseline data for cancer control in the Métis population in Canada shows patients, their families and caregivers face common issues in cancer care, including challenges in access to care for rural and remote communities in relation to treatment centres; financial burden; lack of trust and confidence in the cancer care system; the need for emotional support for the patient and their family; and the need for preventative health and cancer awareness education at the community level.

“In order to reduce the overall burden of cancer amongst Canada’s Métis population, we first need to understand what the cancer landscape looks like: where the greatest risk factors are, how we can mitigate them, and where we can improve the experience for cancer patients, their caregivers and their families,” said Pam Tobin, Director, Strategy Implementation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Métis Cancer Control in Canada Baseline Report shares the voices of Métis patients and their families speaking about their experiences of participating in screening, receiving a diagnosis, and navigating the cancer system. It also looks at the burden of cancer amongst the Métis population and provides examples of promising practices to improve the cancer journey.

In addition to highlighting the financial hardships faced by patients and caregivers traveling from remote or isolated communities to receive cancer screening or care, the report found that Métis patients could benefit from a greater blend of western and traditional approaches to cancer management.

Specific data for the Métis population is difficult to obtain, largely because patients are not identified as Métis within the health system. Focus groups held with Métis patients and their families in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta provided inputs to help understand the Métis cancer experience.

The report spotlights some promising paths forward, including greater use of telehealth to keep patients in their home communities; mining health insurance client registries for data specific to the Métis community; greater use of mobile screening programs, which have seen success in breast cancer detection; employing Aboriginal patient navigation liaisons, which can help bridge the divide between western and traditional care; and improving discharge planning.

In March, with partners from across First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations and the health sector, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer launched a $10.2 million, 3.5 year initiative to improve the quality of the cancer journey for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people residing in remote and isolated communities in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This report offers a baseline of data to measure progress and improvement.


For more information please contact:

Karen Palmer
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
(647) 388-9647

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer works with Canada’s cancer community to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. Grounded in and informed by the experiences of those affected by cancer, the organization works with partners to support multi-jurisdictional uptake of evidence that will help to optimize cancer control planning and drive improvements in quality of practice across Canada. Through sustained effort and a focus on the cancer continuum, the organization supports the work of the collective cancer community in achieving long-term population outcomes: reduced incidence of cancer, less likelihood of Canadians dying from cancer, and an enhanced quality of life of those affected by cancer.