Cultural Safety for Health Coaches and Navigators

Program Overview

Develop knowledge and skills in cultural safety needed to create an inclusive environment and navigate diverse views on illness and healing, while maintaining a safe health care practice.


The responsibility to reduce harm and provide culturally safe care for all people is a mandated social imperative for all Canadian health care and service providers. To be an effective health coach or navigator serving diverse populations, you must be able to create and maintain a safe environment so that all your clients’ concerns can be clearly heard.

Culturally safe health care practice moves beyond the mere acknowledgment of the differences that multicultural patients bring to the healing relationship. It requires an examination of the impact of practitioner assumptions and implicit bias on the state of the therapeutic relationship. Self-reflection is therefore essential to the provision of culturally safe care.

This experiential and interactive one-day program will help you develop a deeper understanding of the social and systemic contributions to the experiences of various marginalized people in the health care setting. You will also be able to better understand and address recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada mandate.

How You Will Benefit:

Learn specific tools and techniques to promote multicultural understanding and practice empathetic navigation of diverse beliefs and experiences, with a specific focus on Indigenous populations.

What You Will Learn:

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • Build a framework to navigate cross-cultural approaches and beliefs on illness and ways of healing as a health coach or navigator.
  • Address recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada mandate to develop appropriate policy and practice.
  • Responsibly advocate for culturally safe care on behalf of multicultural and marginalized clients and communities.
  • Clarify basic concepts and theoretical perspectives pertaining to race and racism.
  • Explore historical and contemporary societal contributions to racism and its impacts on the social inclusion and exclusion of various groups of people.
  • Establish an openness to diverse perspectives on the experiences of others for the purpose of expanding culturally safe access to care.
  • Understand the impact of socially constructed biases on socially marginalized groups with a specific focus on the Indigenous First Nations peoples of Turtle Island.

Who Should Take This Program:

  • Health coaches and patient navigators.
  • Leadership and front-line health care and social services providers, or researchers seeking to implement/improve cultural safety in their practice or projects.
  • Any individual or committee is responsible for forming cultural safety policies or implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada mandate recommendations.

NOTE: This is a required program in the learning pathways for both the Health Coach Professional Certificate and the Patient Navigator Professional Certificate. If you are interested in earning both professional certificates, you only need to take this program once.

Entry Requirements:

  • Programs at the Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) are offered in English. To register in our programs, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the language requirements. You may be asked to demonstrate language proficiency. Click on the link to learn more: English Language Requirements

Please note: International students who meet program entry requirements are welcome to take this program.


Stephanie George

Stephanie is Oneida Nation. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and an Aboriginal Midwife. Before she became a midwife, she was certified as a Postpartum Depression Support Person. She is well known for her work as an advocate for Indigenous health, women’s health, mental health, and as a breastfeeding educator. Stephanie continues to share her knowledge with health care providers and students through her roles with the Baby-Friendly Initiative Strategy of Ontario and as an expert panel member of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Stephanie is on the Board of Directors for Haldimand Norfolk Women's Services. Stephanie teaches future and current health care providers and IBCLC’s by working as a Sessional Instructor of Indigenous Health at McMaster’s University and as a member of the Board of Directors for the International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA).

Certificate/Digital Credential

Certificate of Completion & Digital Credentials

Certificates of completion and digital credentials are issued approximately three to four weeks after the end of the program, as long as you have :

  • Attended all sessions
  • Completed and passed all assignments and assessments, as they might be assigned during the program

Please note, you must complete and submit your assignments and assessments before the program end date.

For more information, please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.


Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus

The Executive Learning Centre features:
• 60 executive style guest rooms on 12 floors each with a queen size bed
• Complimentary high speed internet access
• In room coffee/tea maker
• Wheelchair accessible

Call reservations at (416)-650-8300, book on-line: or