Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, it is a time to highlight the importance of deepening our understanding of systemic racism so we can actively address health inequities.
To achieve this we will need to eliminate racist behaviours, remove long standing colonial practices and systemic racism from our health and care system. The generational colonial beliefs and attitudes that created Indian Hospitals, reserves, day schools, the foster-care system, and residential schools continue to this day.
It takes more than one team, one organization or one community – it takes all of us as individuals – to address systemic racism. As members of the system, we own our response.
At Island Health, we recommit ourselves to cultural safety and humility in the delivery of health and care for Indigenous peoples.
Island Health is committed to this ongoing learning journey to remove systemic racism as well as increase awareness and capacity for staff, physicians, volunteers, contractors and students to create culturally safe engagement and environments.