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Our Commitment to Truth & Reconciliation

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 by Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

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 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; and

  • continuing to educate our team through established 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.

In 2022 and going forward, PHSA will establish its Indigenous Health Strategic Plan and roadmap as a core strategic priority.  The plan aims to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism across our programs and services, ensuring high-quality, culturally safe care for Indigenous peoples.  

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.

SOURCE: Our Commitment to Truth & Reconciliation ( )
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