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Indigenous Peoples Resources

Research has shown that Indigenous Peoples are more likely to have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which puts First Nations, Inuit and Métis people at an even greater risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population.

Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada, so it’s important to understand how to prevent them. The Foundation has culturally adapted some resources to help you understand the risk factors and signs for heart disease and stroke.

Please see our full English and French sections for further resources.

Heart and Stroke Foundation Resources

Printed Resources

Taking ControlTaking Control: Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
A Guide for Aboriginal Peoples

This brochure covers the signs for heart attack and stroke and the specific risk factors for heart disease and stroke (1 to 2 pages for each risk factor) as they impact Aboriginal Peoples.

English (downloadable pdf – 378kb)
French (downloadable pdf – 1.0mb)

Poster: Let’s put our Hearts into it!
Aboriginal people are more likely to have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and as a result, are at great risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population. This 4-colour poster details how you can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and provides contact information for more details.

English (downloadable pdf, low resolution – 204kb)

English (downloadable pdf, high resolution  – 7.3 MB)



Breath – The Spirit of the Heart Breath – The Spirit of the Heart
Your Journey Away from Tobacco Misuse

The misuse of tobacco threatens the health, quality of life and life expectancy of many First Nations, Inuit and Métis adults and children.

Breath - The Spirit of the Heart is a video with inspirational real life reflections, strategies and tips from First Nations people who have quit non-traditional tobacco use. They have found that there are many benefits to quitting; healthier heart and lungs, cleaner surroundings, improved taste and smell. Running time: 10 minutes.

Watch the video


Your Heart - It's in your HandsYour Heart - It's in your Hands

First Nations people are more likely to have high blood pressure than the general population.

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease. That’s why it’s very important to keep high blood pressure under control. This DVD will help you learn about high blood pressure and offers suggestions from members of First Nations communities about what you can do to live a healthier lifestyle. Learn how Chief Patrick Madahbee made lifestyle changes to lower his blood pressure. Hear how Mary Grace McGregor, an Elder in the Whitefish River First Nation, uses the Medicine Wheel to help her find balance in her life. Be inspired by Charles Shawanda as he works toward a healthier life. Find out from Dr. Jeff Reading how changes in First Nations’ traditional lifestyles have impacted their health. Running time: 24 minutes.

Watch the video


Heartbeat of the Anishnawbe Nation

Heartbeat of the Anishnawbe Nation

This video will help you learn about lowering your risk of stroke by managing your blood pressure using medical and Aboriginal traditions. The video explains how smoking, diet, exercise, alcohol and medication affect blood pressure and the risk of stroke. The language of the video is Ojibwe and dubbed in Oji-Cree and English versions as well (19 minutes).

Watch the video:

Ojibwe Version
Oji-Cree Version (dubbed)
English Version (dubbed)




My Heart & Stroke Risk Assessment

Compared to the general population, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have higher rates of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, smoking and childhood obesity.

All of these factors increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Are you at risk?

Take My Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment TM and get a personalized risk profile and a customized action plan for healthy living that includes tips, tools, recipes and much more to help you reduce your risk.


Get your free personalized plan – loaded with lots of helpful information including realistic tips and support to help you prevent or control the risk factors you can do something about.

External Links*

Canada's Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis version.
Based on the new version of Canada’s Food Guide, this Aboriginal peoples’ version includes both traditional foods and store-bought foods that are generally available, affordable and accessible across Canada.


Health Canada: First Nations & Inuit Health
This web site features articles on living well with diabetes, healthy eating, active living and tobacco.


Ministry of Health, Ontario – Diabetes Fact Sheets
A series of fact sheets on type 2 diabetes with Information on physical activity, healthy eating, health weight, cholesterol and other issues in Cree, Ojibway and Oji-Cree.


National Aboriginal Health Organization
This national Aboriginal health organization provides health information to First Nations, Inuit and Métis.


Smoke Free Ontario: Quit – You Have It in You!
Provides information on quitting smoking in Algonquin, Cree, Mohawk and Oji-Cree


Toronto Public Health - TransFat Fact Sheets
Two fact sheets developed by Toronto Public Health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, including 5 Things You Should Know about TF and 5 Ways to Avoid it, produced in English, French and 5 other languages.


Toronto West Stroke Network – Dysphagia Booklet
A Patient and Family Education Pamphlet on Swallowing Problems after Stroke: What You Need to Know and How to Help, produced in English, French and 11 other languages.


* The following links are provided as quality sources of information. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is not responsible for the contents of any linked Web site, or any changes or updates to such web sites. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement.

Last reviewed March 2011.