A Call to Action for Truth and Reconciliation in Health Care

Dear Members,

As we collectively grieve the loss of 215 Indigenous Children at the T’kemlups te Secwepemc Nation in British Columbia, I invite us all to honour these lost children and the unknown number of lost children across our nation in the Indian Residential Schools by joining in the national moment of silence Wednesday, June 9th, at 2:15 pm (Pacific Time).

Perhaps you have connected with many Indigenous and non-Indigenous friends, colleagues or family this week who have been deeply impacted by the grief.  The Indian Residential School Survivors ([email protected]) has many resources.  A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has also been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.  For physician-specific resources, the Canadian Medical Association has a wellness portal with resources specific to your jurisdiction.

We have reached out to our colleagues at the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. I share their statement below.

I encourage us to continue the ‘go orange campaign on social media' through June 21st Indigenous Peoples Day.

I encourage us to continue to learn and grow in our knowledge of truth. Resources include:

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

In Plain Site: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care

I encourage us to support IPAC’s calls to action respecting the Elders and Knowledge Keepers and acknowledging the responsibility for reconciliation is now.

At our Interim Board Meeting, your Board of Directors passed a motion to create a working group on truth and reconciliation with Indigenous partners to determine our role and actions as an organization in decolonizing and fighting anti-indigenous racism in healthcare. This is our call to action for our Indigenous and non-Indigenous members to contact the National Office by June 21st if you are inspired to be part of this working group.

Charissa Patricelli