About Us

As a part of the Aboriginal Cancer Control Unit at Cancer Care Ontario we work with First Nation, Inuit, Métis and other Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to reduce and prevent commercial tobacco addiction.

In 2009 the Chiefs of Ontario passed a Resolution calling for their First Nations communities to be tobacco-free. In order to support their efforts we encourage and partner with communities to become “Tobacco-Wise” and use tobacco in a traditional and sacred way while breaking free from commercial tobacco addiction.

Our programming is designed to enhance knowledge, build capacity and empower communities with the skills and tools needed to address commercial tobacco cessation, protection and prevention. It works within the Smoke-Free Ontario objectives while respecting the role of traditional tobacco in communities across Ontario.

The goal is to help build Tobacco-Wise First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and empower both Indigenous and non-Indigenous policy makers, health care administrators and health and social care providers to make this a reality.

Colonialism, racism, social exclusion and self-determination have an effect on First Nations, Inuit and Métis health. These factors are responsible for the socio-economic inequities that exist between First Nations, Inuit and Métis people and the general Ontario population. They are a fundamental cause of health inequities and are an important contributor to population health outcomes, including those related to commercial tobacco usage. We are sensitive to these factors and work with communities to help create environments in which their impacts can be addressed.

We also recognize the strength and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in the face of these challenges. These communities have shown the ability to thrive by restoring and promoting Indigenous identity, keeping cultures and languages alive and promoting self-governance. All these factors have positive effects on community health and well-being.