OTTAWA – JULY 8, 2021 – Healthcare providers have a new resource that outlines ways to properly support and provide care to Inuit patients and their caregivers. The product of an eight-year partnership between Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society, new e-Learning modules are now available to increase the cultural understanding of healthcare providers, improve communication between providers and patients, ensure more culturally safe and effective treatment, and provide better health outcomes for Inuit. 

Cancer is a leading cause of death among Inuit living in Canada. The rate is nearly twice as high as the rest of the country. This is partly due to low cancer literacy rates and misunderstanding among Inuit. In addition, the lack of access to diagnostic services and treatment in Northern and remote communities causes reduced and late diagnosis. A general mistrust of the healthcare system and experiences of racism within it are key factors as well.

The patient and caregiver e-Learning module guides and prepares patients and their families in a way Inuit can relate to. It describes how to use the provided cancer resources; what to expect through the cancer journey, including going south for treatment; mental wellness supports; survivorship resources; and what questions to ask during their doctor visits. The module was first launched in English and will soon be available in Inuktut.

The healthcare provider e-Learning module is accredited by the Canadian Nurses Association and will ensure that healthcare providers learn and understand Inuit history, culture, language, and Inuit traditional knowledge. It also provides historical context and explains the effects of colonialization that continue to influence healthcare experiences.  

“Too often healthcare resources to serve our communities are made without the input of Inuit. This new e-module was made by Inuit, for Inuit. We thank the Canadian Cancer Society for their dedicated partnership. We know this e-Learning module will help improve care for Inuit when they need it most,” said Pauktuutit’s President, Rebecca Kudloo.

In 2015, Pauktuutit and the Canadian Cancer Society formed a partnership to tackle the growing cancer rates among Inuit. With wisdom and guidance from their National Inuit Cancer Advisory Committee, Pauktuutit and the Canadian Cancer Society set out to build health literacy across Inuit Nunangat, increase screening rates, encourage lifestyle changes, and develop supports for patients and their families. 

“We are honoured to have partnered with Pauktuutit to launch e-Learning modules that will offer culturally appropriate resources for Inuit patients and families, and for non-Inuit healthcare providers supporting them through the cancer journey,” says Andrea Seale, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society. “We are immensely proud of our partnership and know that together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of Inuit affected by cancer.”

The e-Learning module is available online as well as offline for those without unstable access to the internet. Work continues on future e-Learning modules which will support Inuit cancer patients and their caregivers. First launched in English, the e-Learning module will soon be available in Inuktut.

For more resources on cancer: or call the Canadian Cancer Society’s helpline (1-888-939-3333), which can provide cancer information in Inuktut through an interpreter service.


To schedule an interview:

Catherine Whittaker, 613.238.3977 Ext. 271 /

Amanda Deseure, 613.806.3336

Sheila Dong, Canadian Cancer Society, 604.802.2321 /

Pauktuutit is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada. 

Its mission is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, and to encourage their participation in community, regional and national concerns in relation to social, cultural and economic development.

The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish health policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.