Close up of Indigenous drums
Heart & Stroke

Indigenous health

Everyone deserves a healthy life free from heart disease and stroke.

Meeting the challenges of health reconciliation

Equality and equity matter. For Indigenous peoples of Canada, settler colonialism has created the conditions that have led to wide disparities in health outcomes. Reconciliation means by working together we can address the gaps on social determinants of health.

A woman and a teenage boy lifting weights at a gym
A woman holds the hand of a senior man to support him while walking
A doctor performs a check-up on a child with a stethoscope while her mother holds the child’s hand.

The Heart & Stroke Council on Health Reconciliation

The Council on Health Reconciliation plays a vital role in our effort to advance a reconciliation agenda by lending its collective expertise, guidance and recommendations. Understanding the diversity of Indigenous perspectives means there should be no preconceptions and the approach from initial contact is transparent, honest and respectful.

HeartSmart Kids program

HeartSmart Kids™ provides free resources for educators, students and families created in partnership with Indigenous communities to support the education of heart, brain, and holistic health. Highlights include full-colour activity books, monthly activities to use in class or at home, and a video library co-created with Indigenous artists and storytellers.

Visit HeartSmart Kids

Paula Weasel Head performs Jingle Dress Dancing
Indigenous storytelling
This series of videos feature stories that enhance the themes and lessons from HeartSmart Kids™, by highlighting culture from across the country.
Watch here

Where research meets health care

Doctor Jeff Reading

A holistic approach to Indigenous health

Dr. Jeff Reading says collaboration and research are key to solving health disparities.

Learn more

Doctor Donna May Kimmaliardjuk

Canada’s first Inuk cardiac surgeon

Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk is breaking new ground and inspiring Indigenous youth.

Learn more

Doctor Heather Foulds

Advancing women’s heart and brain health

Four researchers receive special funding through Heart & Stroke for work to improve women’s heart and brain health.

Learn more

Esther Sanderson wears a purple jacket and smiles beside a University of Winnipeg sign.

After a heart transplant saved her life, Esther finds strength and health in Indigenous traditions.

Lisa Meeches

Combining the power of traditional and western medicine helped Lisa recover from stroke

Former senator Murray Sinclair

Senator Murray Sinclair says his stroke woke him up to “my obligation to take better care of myself”

A horse gallops in a cloud of dust.

Kevin Starlight relied on his community and his own strength to recover from stroke