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Open AccessArticle

Indigenous Values and Health Systems Stewardship in Circumpolar Countries

Institute for Circumpolar Health Research, Yellowknife, NT X1A 3X7, Canada
School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 3M6, Canada
Elders Council, Dene Nation, Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, NT X1A 1S1, Canada
Department of Community Medicine, The Artic University of Norway, 1909 Tromsø, Norway
Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare (RKBU North), Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, 1909 Tromsø, Norway
Health Care Centre, Municipality of Utsjoki, 99981 Utsjoki, Finland
Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA
Manitoba First Nations—Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 0W3, Canada
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T3M7, Canada
Department of Geography, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada
Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Montreal, QC H8R 3R9, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1462;
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Health and Wellbeing)
Circumpolar regions, and the nations within which they reside, have recently gained international attention because of shared and pressing public policy issues such as climate change, resource development, endangered wildlife and sovereignty disputes. In a call for national and circumpolar action on shared areas of concern, the Arctic states health ministers recently met and signed a declaration that identified shared priorities for international cooperation. Among the areas for collaboration raised, the declaration highlighted the importance of enhancing intercultural understanding, promoting culturally appropriate health care delivery and strengthening circumpolar collaboration in culturally appropriate health care delivery. This paper responds to the opportunity for further study to fully understand indigenous values and contexts, and presents these as they may apply to a framework that will support international comparisons and systems improvements within circumpolar regions. We explored the value base of indigenous peoples and provide considerations on how these values might interface with national values, health systems values and value bases between indigenous nations particularly in the context of health system policy-making that is inevitably shared between indigenous communities and jurisdictional or federal governments. Through a mixed methods nominal consensus process, nine values were identified and described: humanity, cultural responsiveness, teaching, nourishment, community voice, kinship, respect, holism and empowerment. View Full-Text
Keywords: health systems; values; indigenous; circumpolar comparison; stewardship; holistic approaches health systems; values; indigenous; circumpolar comparison; stewardship; holistic approaches
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Chatwood, S.; Paulette, F.; Baker, G.R.; Eriksen, A.M.A.; Hansen, K.L.; Eriksen, H.; Hiratsuka, V.; Lavoie, J.; Lou, W.; Mauro, I.; Orbinski, J.; Pambrun, N.; Retallack, H.; Brown, A. Indigenous Values and Health Systems Stewardship in Circumpolar Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1462.

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