Eliminate Racism Against Indigenous Peoples in the Healthcare Systems

NEWS PROVIDED BY Indigenous Services Canada 
Jan 28, 2021

Eliminate Racism Against Indigenous Peoples in the Healthcare Systems

OTTAWA, ON, Jan. 28, 2021 /CNW/ – The Honourable Marc Miller, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the Honourable Patty Hajdu and the Honourable Daniel Vandal issued the following statement today:

“For far too long, Canada’s history of colonialism has driven racist practices, behaviours and policies against Indigenous Peoples. Systemic racism remains embedded in our country’s healthcare systems, with catastrophic effects for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Indigenous Peoples are entitled to receive first-class medical care, without fear of discrimination or maltreatment.  It is long overdue that we come together to eliminate and eradicate any and all forms of racism and discrimination. 

In September, the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan was a stark reminder of the anti-Indigenous racism still prevalent across the country. Unfortunately, what Joyce Echaquan experienced was not an isolated incident. Too many First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and families have lived through similar experiences – adding to the abundant evidence that the Canadian healthcare systems are failing Indigenous Peoples. Without significant change, Indigenous Peoples will continue to face harmful and persistent inequities in their health and social outcomes because of inadequate access to appropriate health services. 

It is only by listening and learning from the experiences of Indigenous patients, practitioners and health professionals that real change will come. Today, the Government of Canada concluded a second national dialogue on anti-Indigenous racism in the healthcare systems. It provided a platform for Indigenous partners, governments, educational and professional institutions and healthcare organizations to share best practices to address this systemic issue. We are grateful for these conversations. 

The Government of Canada invited provinces and territories as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners and healthcare organizations and representatives to renew their commitment to eliminating racism. At the core of this commitment is the development of response strategies to anti-Indigenous racism led by each level of government and key organizations who play an important role in healthcare delivery. 

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