September 29, 2021 (Ottawa) – To mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day tomorrow, HealthCareCAN reaffirms our commitment to advancing reconciliation and helping build a health system that better meets the needs of Indigenous people.
As the national voice for hospitals and healthcare organizations across Canada, we know that health leaders and organizations have a critical role to play in addressing the racism and colonialism that exist within our health system and that contribute to the serious and persistent health gaps Indigenous people experience.
HealthCareCAN takes seriously our responsibility to help implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Calls to Action. This includes Call to Action 22 which calls for organizations that can affect change within the health system to recognize the value of Indigenous health practices and use them in the treatment of Indigenous patients. In collaboration with our members and Indigenous health partners, we recognize the importance that Indigenous traditional knowledge and healing be understood, respected, and incorporated in healthcare organizations across Canada so that the health system better serves Indigenous people.
The recent discoveries of unmarked residential school gravesites, and the death of Joyce Echaquan, are powerful reminders of the devastating and ongoing impact of racism and colonialism. These painful examples underscore the critical need to bring reconciliation to healthcare, and the urgency with which these changes must be made.
To honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, created in response to the TRC’s Call to Action 80 that called for a statutory holiday, HealthCareCAN will close our offices. As recommended in this Call to Action, we encourage our members and all those working within the health system to join us in using the day to reflect on the history and ongoing impacts of colonialism in our society, and to continue learning about the actions we can take as organizations and as individuals to advance reconciliation in our health system and communities.
#OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters #NDTR #TruthAndReconciliation.
President & CEO
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.
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