On June 6, Tahatikonhsontóntie’ – the Quebec Network Environment in Indigenous Health Research (Qc-NEIHR), with the collaboration of Unité de Soutien SSA Québec, the Office of Joyce’s Principle and McGill’s Department of Family Medicine with the support of the Indigenous Health Professions Program (IHPP), unveiled the results of their report on cultural safety in the context of Indigenous health research. Indigenous faculty members involved in the project are Richard Budgell (Labrador Inuk), Brittany Jock (Bear Clan from Akwesasne), Alex McComber (Bear Clan from Kahnawake Territory), Sarah Konwahahawi Rourke (Kanien’kehá:ka from Akwesasne and Director of the IHPP) and Amy Shawanda (Odawa Kwe), all from the Department of Family Medicine.


Cultural safety has emerged as a response to systemic racism experienced by Indigenous Peoples in public services, and it has been expanded to research. This report, thought to be the first on the topic in Quebec, is a follow-up to a roundtable discussion that took place in Montreal April 26-28, 2023, which brought together 45 people who shared an interest in transforming Indigenous health research environments.


The overwhelming majority of participants were Indigenous, representing 10 Indigenous nations from across Quebec. With simultaneous translation in both French and English and support available from Indigenous Elders in attendance, participants were able to freely and safely share their sometimes traumatic experiences of culturally unsafe research and their visions to improve research environments for all Indigenous Peoples.


The voices of the roundtable participants are at the heart of the report and are found in the six sections of the report, which are:


  • In context (historical and contemporary Indigenous health, and the concept of cultural security)
  • State of Affairs (obstacles to the cultural safety of Indigenous people in research, and the paradigm shift that has been taking place in recent years)
  • The conditions necessary to create culturally safe environments
  • Recommendations for four groups of stakeholders involved in research (policymakers, organizational decision makers, researchers and educators)
  • Guidelines for cultural safety training in research contexts
  • Joyce’s Principle and research


With the release of the report, the Tahatikonhsontóntie’ Qc-NEIHR and its partners seek to give a platform to Indigenous people, communities and organizations to express their needs for culturally safe health research in Quebec. Everyone involved in the roundtable and its subsequent activities played an essential role in contributing to the content and reviewing this report.


The strength of their individual and collective voices and their desire to see research environments become more culturally safe demonstrate the rich potential of Indigenous Peoples and their allies to imagine lasting solutions to achieve this. Amidst those insights, numerous shortcomings in cultural safety were identified at all levels of Indigenous health research, as were the necessity and urgency to act to set things right with the active contribution of Indigenous Peoples at every step of this much needed systemic transformation. To that end, a number of specific actions were proposed to researchers, public health officials, institutions, and governments. Among the latter, participants unanimously endorsed the acceptance and use of Joyce’s Principle by the Quebec government and institutions, particularly as it relates to health care.



Read the English version of the report

Lisez la version française

Read a Radio-Canada article on the report