In May, 2016 the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle (TIHAC) released Toronto’s first Indigenous Health Strategy (TIHS). This strategy informs the ways in which Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network work toward improving Indigenous health outcomes in the city.

Our vision: We envision a thriving and healthy Indigenous community in Toronto through the respectful harmonizing of practices, policies and resource allocation.

Our mission: To lead transformation in health programs and services toward well-being for Indigenous people in Toronto.

  1. Reclamation of Well-Being – TIHS reclaims Indigenous-centric governance and improved access to Indigenous healing knowledge and practice.
  2. Spirit of Reconciliation: Making it Right – TIHS is based on calls to action for governments and the health system to redress the legacy of colonization and residential schools.
  3. Reinforce a Population Health Approach – TIHS aims to reduce health inequities in Indigenous health in order to ensure well-being across the population.

  1. Health plans are developed with Indigenous Peoples as full partners.
  2. Wherever Indigenous Peoples go to access programs and services, they receive culturally appropriate, safe and proficient care, and all barriers to optimal care have been removed.
  3. Care is planned to be responsive to community needs and is appropriate, efficient, effective and high quality at both systems and interpersonal levels.
  4. Dedicated resources and funding for Indigenous Health programs and services will support a coordinated and collaborative system.
  5. Leverage and build the capacity of Indigenous leadership and Indigenous communities to care for themselves.

  1. Reduce Health Inequities for Indigenous Peoples
  2. Influence the Social Determinants of Indigenous Health
  3. Harmonize Indigenous and Mainstream Health Programs and Services

The Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle is mandated to:

  1. Provide oversight, guidance and advice to the TC LHIN and TPH in the identification, planning, implementation, funding, research and evaluation of culturally based, culturally secure health programs and services for the diverse Indigenous community in Toronto.
  2. To influence public policy that impact Indigenous health outcomes

The TIHAC was established in recognition of the importance of ‘Indigenous health in Indigenous hands’ and that the TIHS must be led by community members themselves. This respects the principle of self-determination and echoes recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015) and the City of Toronto’s Statement of Commitment to Aboriginal Communities (2010).