Pat McCarthy’s report from the 8th International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health–Jon’s Tricky Journey

Jon’s Tricky Journey was funded by a C17 Council Education Research Grant

I had the good fortune to be able to attend and present a poster abstract at the 8th International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health, held in Calgary, Alberta, March 22-24, 2019. This was an amazing experience with pediatrician’s, nurses and child and youth advocates from many countries attending. The conference was organized by both the Canadian and American Pediatric Societies in collaboration with numerous First Nations, Metis and Inuit associations. This conference is held every two years, and I would encourage anyone to attend.

The plenary, oral, and poster presentations were all very thought provoking and challenged participants to think more about the health disparities and systemic barriers that exist for aboriginal peoples around the world. At the same time conference participants were inspired to think about how they could, as individuals, pick up the challenge and make a commitment to become allies in relationships with aboriginal peoples, to change and improve the health outcomes for indigenous children.

My poster presentation about my book Jon’s Tricky Journey was very well received, and I was especially touched when a young pediatric oncologist from Seattle came to see me and kept thanking me for producing this book. I gave her a big hug and a copy of my book, and she told me she could not wait to give it to a young Inuit patient from Alaska she was working with. Alaska has a large Inuit population called the Yupik.

Jon’s tricky journey is a bilingual publication, written in both English and Inuktitut. Accompanied by a resource guide for parents and caregivers, including hospital and support information, Jon’s Tricky Journey opens a conversation between Inuit children facing a cancer diagnosis and their families to help make a difficult and confusing time more manageable.

My book is available to order through Fitzhenry & Whiteside customer service at 1-800-387-9776, and at

It is also available for order on Amazon in both Canada and the USA, and at Chapters/Indigo stores.