Underserved Populations Program

Finding the path to better cancer care together

The Underserved Populations Program is here to help individuals who may struggle with geographic, linguistic, cultural, or other obstacles to get screened, treated, and supported for cancer.

Our team strives to:

  • Support patients and families who may face additional challenges.
  • Build relationships in underserved communities.
  • Educate and support healthcare providers with health equity issues.
  • Address system issues that cause barriers or delays.

Contact Us:

CC16-825 Sherbrook Street
Winnipeg, MB R3A 1M5
Toll-free 1-855-881-4395
[email protected]
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Education and Liaison Nurse works with patients, families, and healthcare providers who may have additional needs along their cancer journey.

Patients and family members can talk directly to the nurse about their journey and available resources. They can assist healthcare providers in obtaining trauma-informed, patient-centered and culturally safe services for their patients, from the point of suspicion of cancer through treatment, follow up and palliative care.

The education and liaison nurse can be reached at 204-390-6805 or toll-free at 1-855-881-4395.

First Nations Patient Guide

This handbook provides information about cancer, introduces patients to their health care team, and helps patients get ready for their first appointment at CancerCare Manitoba. This guide also lists different services for First Nations patients, including getting connected with Non-Insured Health Benefits and Health Canada to help with treatment and travel.

Cancer Journey Pathway

This infographic helps show what a cancer journey may look like for a patient and it also provides timeline information about when patients might expect to move to the next step along their journey.

The infographic is also available in the following languages:

First Nations Webinar Series

Supporting First Nations People living with cancer and their families.

Arts-based Healing - June 13, 2024

Ceremony and Traditional Ways of Healing - May 16, 2024

Caring for the Caregiver - April 23, 2024

Service Provider Panel - March 14, 2024

Grief and Loss - February 15, 2024

Medicine Wheel Teachings - January 23, 2024

Presenter Bios

Elder Cindy O’Nabigon

My name is Cindy O’Nabigon, and I am proud of my heritage and family. My mother’s love and guidance have shaped me into the person I am today. I married Philip O’Nabigon in a traditional ceremony in 1996, and we have four wonderful sons, or as I call them, my cubs: Micheal, Steven, Shawn and Philip Jr. We have made our home in Cranberry Portage for the last 12 years.

For 11 years, I have been a residence counsellor at Frontier Collegiate, where I work with youth from different communities who attend school here. I find working with them very rewarding. They have taught me as much as I try to teach them, and they fill my life with joy, especially when they graduate.

One of my passions is drumming. I started a girl’s drum group about seven years ago, and we have new students/girls joining every year. We go to different events to drum, sing, and share our culture and spirit. I also worked with a boy’s drum group for about five years. In addition, I have been conducting Drum Making Workshops, Medicine Wheel Teachings and The 7 Teachings Workshops for the Flin Flon Friendship Center and Youth Center for the past four years. We are honoured to sing for the Headstart graduation for the past six years. The preschool children have learned a few of our songs and sing them at their graduation. It is heartwarming to know that I have helped them learn a little about their culture.

I have been leading a traditional life for the past 20 years. When I went to my first sweat lodge ceremony, it was a life-changing experience. It has improved my life in many ways, and I have faith in what I do.

I look forward to meeting all the students and hope to teach and share a piece of my life that has made me who I am and who I aspire to be.

Miriam Duff - Psychosocial Oncology Clinician, CancerCare Manitoba

Miriam Duff is a compassionate clinician who works with people affected by cancer at CancerCare Manitoba. She has a Master of Education in Counselling from the University of Manitoba and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) and a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). She has extensive experience in serving children and families at Children’s Hospital. She is also a trained teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and a graduate of Expressive Arts Therapy, where she discovered her passion for drumming.

Miriam grew up in Northern Ontario on Treaty 9 land with parents from England and Scotland. She respects and learns from Indigenous teachings and acknowledges the historical and ongoing harms of colonization, including Residential Schools. She is dedicated to walking the path of reconciliation with others. She loves spending time with her family, drumming with the Buffalo Gals when she can, and kayaking on the LaSalle River in her red kayak.

Webinar: Cancer Screening for the Newcomer Community in Manitoba

Watch our webinar Cancer Screening for the Newcomer Community in Manitoba to learn more about breast, cervical and colon cancer screening and resources for newcomers. Presenters: Lesley Baldry, Health Educator, CancerCare Manitoba Prevention & Screening, and Allison Wiens, Education and Liaison Nurse - Health Equity, CancerCare Manitoba Underserved Populations Program.

Community Engagement Opportunities

We want to work with underserved communities and our partners in care to build relationships, trust, and sustainable solutions to reduce the burden of cancer. Our goal is to engage with patients, survivors, families, and communities to help improve the cancer journey. If you feel you have something to share with one of our advisory committees, please be in touch. 

Current Committees include:

  • Newcomer Advisory Committee
  • Manitoba Cancer Network

CancerCare Manitoba Underserved Population Program (part of the Community Oncology Program) spoke to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit patients and family members about their experiences of being diagnosed with cancer. This video describes, from a patient’s perspective, how to deliver cancer information in a respectful way.