By Vivian Eliopoulos, President and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health
Today, on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Vancouver Coastal Health commemorates the history and legacy of residential schools, to remember those who were lost and to honour the healing journey of survivors, families and communities. This day serves as an opportunity to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and to recommit to understanding the truth of our shared history.
As a health-care organization, Vancouver Coastal Health has an important role in advancing truth and reconciliation and addressing the existing health disparities and inequities in our systems. This is a responsibility we take seriously. Led by our Aboriginal Health team, we commit to continuously working to ensure Indigenous knowledge and expertise is embedded throughout our health authority. We do this through sharing training opportunities and resources, creating welcoming spaces and supporting staff, medical staff and patients to ensure culturally-safe care is provided.
This past week, we have been encouraging our Vancouver Coastal Health team members to honour the journey to reconciliation we are on with Indigenous peoples through personal reflection, education and action. While the journey towards reconciliation will take time, Vancouver Coastal Health is committed to building trust and feelings of inclusion and safety in our health-care system for Indigenous patients and clients.
Let us mark today by taking a collective step forward, supporting one another in listening and learning with humility as we journey toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in our communities and beyond.