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Release of report – In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care

01/12/2020

Media statement on behalf of BC health authorities

On behalf of our organizations, we accept the report's findings on Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in B.C.'s health system. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we commit to implementing all recommendations within our responsibility to lead, and further commit to partner and support implementation of all others. We will undertake this work together with, and be guided by, Indigenous health and community leaders. 

The report's first finding bears repeating – Widespread Indigenous-specific stereotyping, racism and discrimination exist in the B.C. health-care system. To the generations of Indigenous peoples who have lived these experiences, and those who continue to face harm, we apologize for our actions and our inaction in righting wrongs. To health authority Indigenous employees and physicians, we apologize to you as well for the impacts you have experienced.

We want to reinforce that racism has no place in our facilities, programs and services, or our society.

We have tremendous appreciation for reviewer Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe) and her team for their work, and the almost 9,000 indigenous peoples and health-care workers whose courage to share their stories and experiences help shape this critically important report and blueprint for change.

Te'ta-in (Sound of Thunder) Shane Pointe – the Knowledge Keeper for this important report – has called upon all involved in B.C. health care to "bring dignity to those who have not been afforded it".

The absolute clarity of these words and what the words mean to those who receive care in our facilities, and through our programs and services, describe the work in front of us.  As leaders in health-care service delivery, and as collaborative partners in creating a healthy society for all we have the privilege to serve, this is our responsibility and our accountability to you.

Issued jointly on behalf of B.C.'s health authorities:

  • Jim Sinclair and Dr. Victoria Lee, Board Chair & President & CEO – Fraser Health

  • Dr. Doug Cochrane and Susan Brown, Board Chair & President & CEO – Interior Health

  • Leah Hollins and Kathy MacNeil, Board Chair & President & CEO – Island Health

  • Colleen Nyce and Cathy Ulrich, Board Chair & President & CEO – Northern Health

  • Eric Harris and Fiona Dalton, Board Chair & President & CEO – Providence Health Care

  • Tim Manning and Benoit Morin, Board Chair & President & CEO – Provincial Health Services

  • Dr. Penny Ballem and Vivian Eliopoulos, Board Chair & Interim President & CEO – Vancouver Coastal Health

Media contacts:

  • Fraser Health - 604-613-0794

  • Interior Health - 1-855-851-4195 (toll free)

  • Island Health - 250-370-8878

  • Northern Health - 250-961-7724

  • Providence Health Care - 604-837-6003

  • Provincial Health Services - 788-867-7472

  • Vancouver Coastal Health - 604-313-5645

SOURCE: Release of report – In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care ( )
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