Indigenous Primary Health Care Council

Supporting the advancement and evolution of Indigenous primary health care service provision and planning throughout Ontario



The Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Caroline Lidstone-Jones as the IPHCC’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1, 2020.


Our members continue to battle COVID-19 in our communities, and provide the primary care necessary to fight this virus. The IPHCC continues to advocate on behalf of our members for solutions that ensure the well-being of Indigenous peoples, while valuing their unique needs of our members.

Indigenous Health in Indigenous Hands

This National Indigenous Peoples Day, we stand in solidarity with all those calling for their humanity to be recognized and protected. We are living through unprecedented times, from the COVID-19 pandemic, and its direct and indirect effects on communities, to the historic global action of Black communities and their allies against racism. Leading into to the recent announcement from British Columbia pointing to care provided to Indigenous people in Emergency Rooms and Hospitals within the province.

We are the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC), working with 28 Indigenous community health care organizations, including Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs), Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Teams (IPCTs), Indigenous Community Health Centres and Indigenous Family Health Teams. AHACs and ACHCs are community-governed, primary health care organizations where clients can see a doctor, nurse, or other health professionals including traditional healers, medicine persons, Elders, knowledge keepers, and counsellors. Our approach is to work together to address the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental needs of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) people and communities we serve.


Especially during COVID-19, the work of IPHCC’s Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Program is vital to ensure a culturally safe experience for our people. As a first response to the pandemic, our team immediately mobilized to reach out to our organizations to understand their needs. Current supports include acting as a communications hub, sourcing, and distributing personal protective equipment, capacity building for testing and assessment, participation at the Provincial Tables like Bioethics and Primary Health Care, and the creation of a Northern Indigenous COVID Response Working Group. The IPHCC does this work while actively mindful of the systemic change needed to address ongoing anti-Indigenous racism and colonial structures. This work is done vigorously as the Council continues to pursue wholistic health equity for our people and communities.

The pursuit of health equity is at the core of our members active response to the crisis. By remaining open and operational during the entire provincial shutdown, IPHCC members have been able to provide numerous vital services. These include testing of Indigenous clients for COVID-19, transportation to and from testing sites, supporting existing testing sites with staff, use of a mobile van to bring testing to vulnerable clients, and providing testing on-reserve when requested. Additional support for distributing food and other supplies, outreach to isolated community members, additional consumption treatment services, working in expanded scopes to help keep patients out of the hospital and more.

As IPHCC celebrates the efforts of our staff and communities during this crisis, we remain focused on emerging needs. Our continued outreach and monitoring shows increased demands for mental health supports, traditional healing services, primary care follow-up due to delaying necessary procedures, and higher demands for testing, tracing, and tracking. These are needs that the IPHCC continues to advocate for.

During times of great change, we remain as committed as ever to the possibilities of what lies ahead with Indigenous health in Indigenous hands, while pausing to mark and celebrate our important work together on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Model of Wholistic Health & Wellbeing

The Indigenous Primary Health Care Council promotes high quality care provision through the Model of Wholistic Health and Wellbeing and placing culture at the center of all health practices

Indigenous Health in Indigenous Hands with Culture as Treatment. 

Supporting the advancement and evolution of Indigenous Primary Health Care service provisions and planning in Ontario