Indigenous Self-Identification

All patients registered at Lake of the Woods District Hospital are asked if they would like to Self-Identify as Anishinaabe or Indigenous. 

Why Self-Identify?

Everyone’s health is important. To better serve the Indigenous population in Northwestern Ontario, we have developed the self-identification process to better understand who our patients are and how we can do things differently. The goals of this process are:

  • To enrich the patient experience, improve health services, and identify areas of need in the health care system
  • To provide data to measure the effectiveness of health care
  • To improve the quality of care for Indigenous patients

Who can self-identify?

All people with Indigenous ancestry are encouraged to self-identify. Indigenous identity is defined in the Canadian Constitution Act (1982), S. 35 (2).  Indigenous refers to Canada’s original people and includes:

Status: the legal status of a person who is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

Non-Status: refers to people who identify as Indians but who are not entitled to Indian Registration under the Indian Act.

Métis: people of mixed Indigenous and Euro-American ancestry.

Inuit: refers to Canada’s original people whose homeland is the Canadian Arctic that includes portions of the three Territories: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, in addition to Northern Quebec and Northern Labrador.


What happens to this information?

This information is kept in your electronic medical record and accessible to your health care team providing you with care. Lake of the Woods District Hospital manages personal health information in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and all information is kept completely confidential.


How do I self-identify?

There are three ways to self-identify as indigenous at LWDH.

  1. You can identify when you are asked at registration in the hospital.
  2. You can complete the survey available on the kiosks at the main entrances to the hospital.
  3. You can complete the online survey here:

After you have answered the question once you will not be asked again and the information will be kept on your record, available for the staff providing you with care.