Community Release

Indigenous End of Life Guide Courses Available

For some First Nations and Indigenous people, wanting to remain in or return to their community to die is very important, and an integral part of their plan for their final journey to the Spirit World. To make this possible, support and care are needed. In many First Nations communities, there are often people who provide this kind of care naturally, however, remaining in community to die is not always an option.

A unique four-day course is aimed at First Nations and Indigenous individuals who have been or will be called upon to voluntarily provide care, support and advocacy for someone who is facing the end of their life. Students in this program develop an understanding of how the continuity of care and advocacy they provide work to complement and enhance the end of life care provided by the medical community and hospice palliative care workers and volunteers.

Comfort, dignity and respect are hallmarks of good quality end-of-life care, and need to meet emotional, mental, spiritual and physical needs of the individual. For people facing the end of their life, continuity of care and advocacy of their health care treatment decisions can be a challenge that an Indigenous End of Life Guide can help to honour and support.

Participants in this course will learn about palliative support, the importance of end of life care and the role of an Indigenous End of Life Guide. There is a focus on teaching advanced communication skills including active listening and conflict resolution; initiating and conducting difficult conversations about end of life, and facilitating family meetings. The complexity of grief is discussed including a variety of coping mechanisms, useful resources and the importance of effective self-care. Advance Care Planning conversations are highlighted, including a range of medical and non-medical interventions available to ensure comfort as well as tools for guiding planning and making wishes known to others. Participants will learn facilitation skills that will equip them to engage in community education initiatives.

This course provides opportunities to discuss issues, ask questions, and find a community of practice that can support an Indigenous End of Life Guide in attending to individuals and families during their end of life journey. Carefully interwoven are cultural practices and protocols unique to each Nation. A knowledge keeper will co-facilitate with the instructor. Registration and funding are offered through FNHA.

This program is ideal for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of how to assist people who are facing their end of life journey.

Online (Zoom) and In-Person courses available:
Combined Region (online): November 4, 5, 8 and 9, 2021
Combined Region (online): January 31, February 1, 3, and4, 2022
Fraser Salish Region (in-person in New Westminster): March 28, 29, 30, and 31 2022

To apply for the course in your area, complete an application form and return to FNHA EMAIL: or FAX: 604.666.0275