A message from Board Chair Tim Manning & President & CEO David Byres
Reconciliation is not a box to tick or a lengthy list of recommendations, but rather, a journey that will take place over generations. At PHSA, we are deeply committed to this journey.
In considering how we – as a country, a province, an organization, and as individuals – can advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, we must first recognize the deep roots and impacts of settler colonialism.
In the health system, we know harm continues to happen with the existence of systemic racism embedded in policies, practices and institutions.
There is clear evidence that Indigenous-specific racism continues to exist and cause harm to the Indigenous patients and families we serve. Together we must identify and eradicate Indigenous-specific racism and ensure First Nations and Indigenous Peoples feel safe in seeking care and all our Indigenous health care workers are able to practice in a safe and welcoming place to work.
PHSA's board and leaders are committed to creating cultural safety for patients, clients and staff in our programs and settings by "scrubbing out" systemic racism in the existing colonial decision-making framework of policies, procedures, training, recruiting and other practices.
This is an everyday issue that requires every day attention.
We are guided by:
Specifically for health care in B.C., we are also committed to the actions outlined in the In Plain Sight report.
PHSA is also guided by six Coast Salish Teachings
that were formally gifted to the organization by Knowledge Keeper, Sulksun, Shane Pointe in 2023. PHSA’s board and leaders have accepted this gift and in doing so, taken on the responsibility to follow the teachings and steward the organization in a good way.
Accepting these Coast Salish teachings is an acknowledgement that the head offices of PHSA, and many of its many programs and services, exist on the lands of the Coast Salish people. These teachings will guide our work, but as we bring them to other parts of the province, we will recognize and follow the protocols of the First Nations whose territories we are operating on to see how the teachings may be translated or adapted to honour their respective laws.
To address Indigenous-specific racism and advance Indigenous cultural safety and humility, we are committed to:
- implementing concrete anti-racism responses and Indigenous cultural safety and humility accountabilities and action plans across all PHSA services and programs
- acknowledging and addressing systemic racism within our programs, services, policies and structure
- embedding intentional and explicit consideration of Indigenous Health through tools, resources, frameworks, policies, processes, and practices required for structural and systemic transformation continuing to educate our team through established required cultural safety and anti-racism programs and resources to build a more compassionate and informed workforce to create a meaningful, safe and healthy difference for Indigenous people, families and communities
PHSA has established Indigenous-specific anti-racism as a core strategic priority. Plans are in place across our programs and services to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism and to ensure high quality, culturally-safe care for Indigenous peoples, families and communities.
The obligation for leading change lies with each of us. We expect all PHSA team members to continue their learning journey and reflect on the individual and organizational actions that can be taken to address the ongoing impacts of settler colonialism and systemic racism.
As health sector leaders, we commit to holding our teams and each other accountable for this work. We will move forward on this journey together, united in kindness and compassion and guided by our core value of respect.