generic speaker image
Pam Tobin - Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Toronto, ON, CA

Pam Tobin Pam Tobin

Director, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Strategy Implementation | Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Improving quality of, and participation, in organized cancer screening programs and the cancer journey for Indigenous patients and families



Pam Tobin, Director of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Strategy Implementation at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

In this role, Pam is responsible for working with Indigenous partners and stakeholders to improve the cancer journey for patients and families. Pam is an adopted member of the Takla Lake First Nation and sits with the Beaver Clan at Potlatch. She was given this honour in recognition for environmental health work she has done in and around the traditional territory of Tse Keh Nay in northern British Columbia. She has worked extensively with First Nations, Inuit and Métis throughout Canada and has also worked with Indigenous populations in Guatemala and Russia.

Pam previously served as Director, Screening and Early Detection at the Partnership. She was responsible for working with all provinces and territories to improve the quality of and participation in organized screening programs. Prior to joining the Partnership, Pam was the Director, Regional Operations for the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North. As part of the senior leadership team she led the integration of screening services between the regional health authority and the BC Cancer Agency to improve access to screening services to rural, remote and isolated communities. She worked closely with the screening teams to increase uptake of participation in screening mammography, cervical cancer screening and colon screening programs. She also supported the implementation of the hereditary cancer screening program to northern British Columbia.

Pam has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree with a focus on First Nations Food Security from the University of Northern British Columbia. She also holds a graduate certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Indigenous Health

First Nations Health

Inuit Health

Métis Health

Organized Screening Programs

Cervical Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Education (3)

Royal Roads University: Graduate Certificate, Project Management

University of Northern British Columbia: MA

University of Northern British Columbia: BA

Media Appearances (3)

Calgary conference addresses large gap in First Nations cancer care

CBC Calgary  radio


Cancer care experts say there is a large gap in how cancer care is delivered to First Nations communities in Canada.

Pam Tobin, the director of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Cancer Control Strategy says that gap is mainly due to access and lack of culturally appropriate services.

"It will take a long time to see a change, but we have to start somewhere," she said.

view more

Calgary hosts forum on cancer care for indigenous individuals

Metro News Calgary  print


An early cancer diagnosis can save your life, but many indigenous people in Canada face challenges simply getting to a doctor.

A recent report assessed care for indigenous people in Alberta and found the survival rate of those with cancer is 53 per cent, significantly lower than non-indigenous patients.

“We know there’s a disproportionate number of indigenous individuals with cancer in Canada,” said Pam Tobin, director of the First Nations Indigenous Metís Cancer Control Strategy (FNIMCCS) with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).

A two-day forum is being held in Calgary this week to discuss how to improve access to treatment for indigenous people with cancer.

“The cancer journey itself is complex for anybody,” Tobin said.

“It’s more complex for the indigenous population because many live in rural, remote, or isolated communities, so it’s not easy to access treatment or care,” she said.

view more

Medical experts host forum in Calgary to address challenges facing indigenous cancer patients

Calgary Herald  print


Between 1997 and 2010 — the most recent available data — almost 40 per cent of FNMI cancer patients in Alberta died as a result of their disease.

Pam Tobin, director of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, said indigenous populations in Alberta do have a greater incidence of cancer, which is often due to late diagnoses and difficulty navigating cancer care and treatment.

“The cancer journey for many indigenous people can be quite challenging,” Tobin said. “Especially in Alberta, if we have FNMI communities and partners all working together with the cancer system, that will speak volumes. Until everyone is at same table looking at ways together, it will take longer to improve the patient journey.”

view more

Articles (3)

Prospective evaluation of unmet needs of rural & aboriginal cancer survivors in northern British Columbia Current Oncology


The unmet needs of cancer survivors in rural, remote, and aboriginal communities are largely unexplored. We explored potential differences between rural survivors in 4 general population and 4 First Nations communities.

view more

Community-based health research led by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation International Journal of Circumpolar Health


This paper documents an exceptional research partnership developed between the Vuntut Gwitchin Government (VGG) in Old Crow, Yukon, with a group of scientists to examine northern food security and health as part of a larger, multidisciplinary International Polar Year (IPY) research program. We focus on the elements that enabled a successful community–researcher relationship.

view more

Type 2 diabetes in the First Nations population: a case example of clinical practice guidelines Rural & Remote Health


Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a major public health concern and has reached epidemic proportions in the Canadian First Nation population. Reasons for this epidemic are the consequences of low socioeconomic status, and challenges to screening, primary prevention, management and access to care. Issue: This article presents the authors' opinions of the healthcare needs specific to the First Nation population in Canada with respect to management of T2D. Lessons learned: The authors argue that the current Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines are insufficient to provide a basis for health care and funding policies related to T2D management in the First Nation population. The authors present their own recommendations in relation to funding policies and the appropriateness of services for the First Nation population.

view more