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AGE-WELL and EPIC-AT present: Fostering Cultural Safety in Health Research: Insights from Indigenous Elders and Allied Settler Researchers

March 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

Embark on a transformative learning journey about the importance and meaning of cultural safety in health research by joining our upcoming webinar, featuring a panel of Indigenous Elders and community-based ally settler researchers. Hear panelists share personal journeys, stories and insights into why cultural safety matters, what it is, and how to enact it in research partnerships with Indigenous communities.


Learning Outcomes:


  • Unpack colonial realities and explore the profound importance of understanding past and ongoing colonialism in research and its impact on Indigenous peoples, families and communities.
  • Learn why it’s crucial for researchers to be attuned to the unique health service challenges faced by Indigenous communities and ways to address them.
  • Take away actionable strategies for how to co-create, nurture, and sustain relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities that foster cultural safety within and beyond the research context.




  • Elder Arlene Vrtar-Huot, a Métis-Cree woman from Saskatchewan, is currently engaged with Métis Nation BC to deliver suicide prevention workshops.
  • Elder Ethel Starblanket, of Star Blanket Cree Nation, holds the role of Life Speaker for her First Nation and sits on 3 committees for the File Hills Tribal Council.
  • Dr. Charlotte Jones, PhD, MD, FRCPC, is an endocrinologist and researcher at University of British Columbia ‘s Southern Medical Program.
  • Dr. Viviane Josewski is an Assistant Professor at University of Northern British Columbia’s School of Nursing and an EPIC-AT Fellow.
  • Dr. Cari Dawn McIlduff is an Assistant Professor in Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan.


Register Here!


Speaker Bios:

Elder Arlene Vrtar-Huot, a Métis-Cree woman from Saskatchewan, holds a rich ancestral history rooted in Métis family ties dating back to her 4 times removed Great Grandfather, Jean Baptiste Gervais, born in 1790. Her family’s involvement in significant historical events, such as the Battle of Batoche, reflects their enduring connection to Métis heritage. Arlene, a registered Métis in British Columbia, spent her formative years in Saskatchewan, surrounded by the northern area Michif, though fluency was not passed down. Her life’s work began with nursing, leading to a Social Work Diploma in 1991 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria in 2001. Her career spanned child welfare, private practice, and roles at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society. She has served as an Elder Advisor and Adjunct Professor for the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Currently, Elder Arlene is engaged in a contract with Métis Nation BC to deliver suicide prevention workshops.

Elder Ethel Starblanket was born and raised on Star Blanket Cree Nation and educated at St. Paul’s Indian Residential School for 11 years (1961-1972). She attended Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and received a Social Work certificate. She also obtained her bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina in 1995. Elder Ethel has dedicated her life work to First Nations People. In 1996, she became a First Nations Mental Health Therapist and recently retired. She is currently helping her people with traditional insight and ceremonies. She holds the role of Life Speaker for her First Nation and sits on 3 committees for the File Hills Tribal Council. Ethel is a mother of 3 and grandmother and great-grandmother of many. She currently resides on her land claims First Nation in Wahpiimoostoosis/Lebret Saskatchewan.

Dr. Charlotte Jones, PhD, MD, FRCPC, is an endocrinologist and researcher at UBC’s Southern Medical Program. With over 49 years of experience, she’s a third-generation settler with roots in Scotland and Ireland. Holding a PhD in biochemistry from McGill University and an MD from the University of Calgary, Dr. Jones served as the clinical director of the Calgary Lipid and Hypertension clinic. In BC, she initiated diabetes telehealth for rural communities, focusing on enhancing healthcare access. As an Associate Professor, she teaches in the medical school and directs student research. Funded by CIHR and AGE-WELL, her research centers on reducing loneliness in older adults and developing Indigenous-led interventions for diabetes and obesity in underserved communities.

Dr. Viviane Josewski, an Assistant Professor at UNBC’s School of Nursing and an EPIC-AT Fellow, is dedicated to advancing equity-oriented health system transformations. Originally from Germany, she began her career as a nurse before completing her MSc and PhD in Health Sciences in Canada. As a white settler, she collaborates on interdisciplinary Indigenous-partnered projects, focusing on culturally-safe care, particularly in mental health, addictions, telehealth, and diabetes. Over 15 years, she has cultivated a program of research aimed at practical solutions to complex healthcare challenges, involving community members, organizations, and researchers. As an EPIC-AT Fellow, she aims to broaden her impact by developing innovative solutions to aging challenges in the North through expanded networks and expertise.

Dr. Cari Dawn McIlduff obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology in Canada, with the support of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, and has worked in early childhood intervention in a rural School Division in Canada. Cari completed her PhD in Australia exploring best practice methods and cultural safety in working with Indigenous Peoples. She co-developed, evaluated and authored the Model of Engaging Communities Collaboratively with Indigenous communities across five countries; a model of culturally safe methodology for community capacity building and social change that was piloted across 42 communities in the Kimberley region of north Western Australia. Cari is dedicated to working with Indigenous communities globally to support, promote and hold space for self-determination, community-led social change and research agendas for what is required in each unique Indigenous community. Cari’s research interests are in mental health, epigenetics, effects of colonization that continues to oppress Indigenous Peoples globally, cultural safety, effects of racism, social change/justice, and child and family wellbeing.



March 12
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT


AGE WELL Management Team