The Institute travels to Chisasibi to share knowledge on end of life care with Cree communities

In November 2018, the Montreal Institute for Palliative Care visited the James Bay community of Chisasibi to share knowledge on end of life care with Cree communities. This 4-day visit came following an invitation from the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay. Recognizing the need to share palliative care knowledge with First Nations communities, the Institute envisioned the creation of a program on end of life care for Cree communities, where palliative care resources and professional health care resources are scarce.

To ensure that the topics were well suited to the Cree community’s needs and culture, the program was developed in collaboration with local health care leaders.

The purpose of the program on end of life care for Cree communities is to strengthen knowledge and skills of health care professionals and home care workers who care for Cree patients who wish to stay in their communities, in their homes or the setting of their choice.

In Chisasibi, a total of 28 people participated in the program, most of whom were home care workers. “Other participants may also benefit from attending these sessions,” added Rose De Angelis. “They could be offered to community health representatives, natural family caregivers, or laypersons who want to get a better understanding of the needs of the terminally ill and would like to provide safe, end of life care in the home.”

The experience gained in Chisasibi will serve to fine-tune the next sessions given to eight other Cree communities in 2019.