Draft Statement on Indigenous Anti-Racism, and Cultural Humility and Safety

Dear FMWC Members,

On behalf of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada I would like to express our deep sadness at the devastating news regarding the Indigenous children’s’ unmarked burial site found at T’kemlups te Secwepemc Nation.  Our thoughts are with the Nation and families impacted so deeply.  We acknowledge Chief Roseanne Casimir and the many Indigenous people impacted by this discovery and the grief and loss of thousands of children through the residential schools of Canada.

From British Columbia I acknowledge the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-waututh) Nations of whom I am an uninvited guest.  I struggle to find words for the sadness and injustice.

The FMWC national office is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded, Territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation.  We recognize both the Algonquins as the customary keepers of the Ottawa Rivershed and the Metis Peoples centred at Mattawa spanning the Ottawa River from Lac de Allumettes (Pembroke) to Timiskaming and Environs.  We recognize all Indigenous peoples Metis, Inuit and First Nations across these lands.

As an organization we acknowledge the systemic racism and violence towards Indigenous peoples in Canada, historical and current and pledge our commitment to supporting cultural safety and humility within our organization and supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the promotion of health and safety for Indigenous People of Metis, Inuit, and all First Nations.

As many of our members are settlers in this country, we have much to learn to create a better future where every Indigenous person experiences the full extent of the United Nations human rights.  We acknowledge the British Columbia Bill 41 which recognizes and protects the rights of Indigenous peoples.

We reach out as allies in the supporting the knowledge translation of our healthcare providers with regards to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and acknowledge the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action reports.

We will seek to understand and support safe healthcare experiences unlike the racism experienced by Indigenous Peoples reported In Plain Sight.

There is no place for racism in any of our communities, workplaces, healthcare, education or social systems.

I encourage all our members to support our Indigenous FMWC members in this difficult time.

We commit to listening and learning from our Indigenous Sisters, Brothers and Elders for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people and all people.

Our hearts are heavy as more truth of the genocide of Indigenous Peoples comes forth.  As we struggle to share with our children, Indigenous and settler, the atrocities of past and present we have hope for a stronger future in which all our children might reach their full potential and growth up with love, safety, innocence, laughter and the full expression of all Human Rights.  This is a Draft as we welcome feedback from the Indigenous community, our members, and our communities.

With deep respect and hope for a better future,




Charissa Patricelli MD