CTCMA Observes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Sep. 29, 2021
September 30, 2021, marks Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation “to commemorate the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools and to honour those who were lost and the survivors, families and communities who continue to grieve.”
We acknowledge the atrocities of the residential school system, and we share in the sorrow and outrage expressed by First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples, and all Canadians.
We are accountable to a broader call to action to eliminate anti-Indigenous racism across Canadian society. As a health regulator, we have a leadership role in creating more culturally safe experiences and supportive healthcare environments for Indigenous people accessing the services provided by our registrants.
About Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The designation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as an annual statutory day fulfills a recommendation made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada which, in 2015, issued 94 calls to action as part of its mandate to inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools.
The September 30 date is also observed as Orange Shirt Day, promoting recognition of the colonial legacy of residential schools and commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
The history of Canada’s residential schools is part of a larger story of colonialism that also saw segregated ‘Indian Hospitals’ operating from the 1930s through to the 1980s, including in British Columbia.
Towards Cultural Safety and Humility in health care
Today, Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in BC health care persists, both through bias shown by individual health care professionals, as well as health system structures and practices that disadvantage Indigenous Peoples.
We recognize the harmful impacts of racism directed towards Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia’s healthcare system. We are committed to working with partners on shared initiatives that will support all regulated health professionals in delivering care with a greater focus on Cultural Safety and Humility. BC Health Regulators (BCHR), the organization that brings BC health regulators together to improve regulatory practice, has to date accomplished the following:
We recognize that learning more about Cultural Safety and Humility, and using this knowledge to change practice, is an ongoing journey. We are grateful for partnerships with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and other organizations, providing support by sharing resources, providing educational opportunities, and offering counsel.
Key learning resources for health care professionals
Cultural safety and humility
National Indigenous Cultural Safety Learning Series, PHSA Indigenous Health webinar series
Cultural Safety & Humility Action Series, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council webinar series
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website (University of Manitoba)
Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre website (University of British Columbia)
Residential Schools: A Sad Chapter in Canadian History, CBC Curio video collection
Indigenous Canada, free Coursera course (online) on Indigenous histories/contemporary issues in Canada, delivered by the University of Alberta
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Info-Hub, Kairos Canada
Safespace, an online platform for Indigenous patients to share positive and negative health care experiences, through the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) in partnership with Safespace Networks.