First Nations, Inuit and MÈtis populations in Canada suffer from a variety of health disparities, including higher rates of infant mortality, higher rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases, greater prevalence of tuberculosis, as well as a shorter life expectancy compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians. Public health experts, community health workers and health care providers are trying to reduce Aboriginal health disparities through research, programs and services. As part of this effort, a group of researchers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States have proposed the development of a set of core competencies for Aboriginal public health. Together, they have established a collaboration called CIPER: Competencies for Indigenous Public Health, Evaluation, and Research. The core competencies proposed by CIPHER would describe the skills, knowledge and attitudes a public health practitioner could utilize to provide culturally competent and safe health services to Aboriginal individuals and communities.