May 6th, 2021 – Pandemic-proof cancer screening; Using HPV self-screening to put cervix screening into the hands of First Nations and Métis communities in the North

Throughout Northern BC, rural and remote Indigenous communities face various barriers to accessing both timely and culturally appropriate healthcare services. During this session, we will present three HPV self-collection projects currently underway in Northern BC that are working to increase cervical cancer screening.  Together, we will present the importance of cervix screening, the successes of each project, and some lessons learned to date, particularly in these times of COVID-19. By using innovative technology and culturally appropriate engagement strategies, these projects are reducing barriers and supporting community members in being engaged in their health journey with the ultimate goal of reducing cervical cancer rates.

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Date: Thursday, May 6th, 2021 (PST)
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am
Where: Online! Internet webinar.
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Registration: required to participate

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About the Presenters:


Terri is Carrier from the Tl’Azt’En territory located north of Fort St. James. She is Lysiloo (Frog) Clan who is traditionally known as the voice of the people. She follows her mother’s and Great-Grandmother’s line Cecilia Pierre (Prince). Terri grew up in both the inner city of Prince George and on the Tachet reserve (in Lake Babine Territory) and these experiences helped motivate her to go to medical school so she could give back to her community. Terri has a Bachelor of Health Science Degree and a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Alberta. She then went on to complete the Indigenous Family Medicine residency program through the University of British Columbia. At present, Terri is the Site Director for the Indigenous Family Medicine Program, Family Physician for the Carrier Sekani Family Services Primary Care team that serve 12 communities in north-central BC, the Medical Director for Primary Care for FNHA, and the Indigenous Lead for the RCcBC. Sna Chaylia.


Dr. Sheona Mitchell-Foster is a practicing Obstetrician Gynecologist and settler researcher with the University of British Columbia’s Northern Medical Program. After medical school at the University of Calgary, she completed her specialty training and Clinical Investigator fellowship in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia as well as a Masters of Public Health at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Mitchell-Foster has a keen interested in reproductive health of populations that have experienced systemic oppression and has worked extensively both in East Africa and in northern BC on cervical cancer prevention using HPV self-collection for screening including a CIHR-funded pilot of low-barrier options of cervical cancer screening for Indigenous women in the north. Other areas of current research include perinatal substance use in northern BC with a focus on Indigenous and underserved populations in rural and remote geographies and she is the Academic Lead on the first culturally safe holistic housing program dedicated specifically to women struggling with substance-use during pregnancy in northern Canada. In addition to Dr. Mitchell-Foster’s academic work she is also the Colposcopy Lead for Northern Health and the Yukon Territories as part of the Provincial Colposcopy Program.


Katina Pollard is of Métis heritage and originates from the Thompson Okanagan Region of B.C.  Katina is a proud community member of the Kamloops Métis Association, and currently holds two roles with Métis Nation BC as HPV self-collection Project Assistant and Northern Regional Health Coordinator.

Katina has spent much of her career working in a healthcare setting.  At the young age of 15, Katina began her journey as a Volunteer Candy Striper in her local hospital.  This then led Katina to complete her Diploma in Practical Nursing.  While Katina currently works full time in her roles, she’s also a part time undergrad student at UNBC.

Katina’s work includes navigating health care services and resources for Métis people in the North, including promoting the HPV self-collection. As well, Katina works with local Health Authorities, partners and stakeholders to identify gaps within the healthcare setting.


Marion Erickson is from the Dakelh Nation community of Nak’azdli. Marion is the Research Manager at the Health Arts Research Centre at the Northern Medical Program at UNBC. Marion has a Certificate in Applied Business Technology and Bachelors of Public Administration and Community Development and is a Masters of Education Candidate at Thompson Rivers University.

Marion’s current research focuses on how the impacts of colonization have worked to erase Dakelh women’s representation in health and wellness careers and utilizes Action Research as a response to Indigenous peoples lack of representation in health careers. Throughout Marion’s research experiences, Marion has recognized that the health and well-being of Indigenous people are connected to the health and well-being of the land. Marion also recognizes art as a way of storytelling and that this storytelling is a way to build relationships within our northern communities. This relationship building is necessary to work collectively towards actively addressing health inequalities in the north.


Ally Dick is a fourth-generation settler of mixed European descent living on the unceded Gidimt’en Clan territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. As a Project Assistant with the University of Northern British Columbia’s Northern Medical Program, Ally supports two self-collection for cervical cancer screening projects in the north. Ally has experience working with different community development programs and has worked in the areas of health care, food security and youth employment programs.

Ally is passionate about the importance of making health care services accessible and culturally appropriate for rural and remote northern communities. She spends her free time gardening and exploring by foot or bike.



  • Marion’s Story: Health, Wellness, and Cervical Cancer Screening – YouTube
  • CervixCheck (MNBC HPV Self-Collection) – Website
  • Healtharts – Website
  • BC Cancer – Website
  • HPV Info: Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Website
  • Metis Nation of British Columbia – Website
  • Carrier Sekani Family Services – Website
  • First Nations Health Authority – Website
  • HPV Self-Collection project team or 1-888-300-3088 x5635
  • MNBC Crisis Line: 1-833-638-4722


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