Ways to honour National Indigenous Peoples Day

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June is National Indigenous History Month and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day—the day set aside to recognize and celebrate the history, heritage, resilience, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across Canada.

In Plain Sight, the BC Ministry of Health’s 2020 report on systemic Indigenous-specific racism in our health-care system, acted as a wake-up call to physicians. Since then, there has been increased interest amongst VPSA members in Indigenous cultural safety in health-care settings. VPSA established the Engaging Physicians in Indigenous Cultural (EPIC) Safety Task Group, which is guided by meaningful partnerships between VPSA physicians, VCH Indigenous Health leadership, the First Nations Health Authority, and UBC Digital Emergency Medicine interCultural Online Health Network (iCON) leadership. 

Just in time for National Indigenous Peoples Day, VPSA members can attend a new iCON-VCH Indigenous Health Round. Weaving Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being in Palliative Care is being offered from noon to 1:30 pm on Tuesday, June 20. More information about the session including the opportunity to register is available here.

The 2022/23 Indigenous Health Rounds (IHRs) received accreditation from UBC Continuing Professional Development. Physicians attending these rounds are eligible for up to 6.0 Mainpro+ credits for four sessions throughout the year (one credit per hour). iCON is exploring ways to expand accreditation for its 2023/24 IHRs with UBC CPD. Previous IHRs are available to view on demand along with summary resources.

“I encourage all medical staff to take part in upcoming rounds as well as to review previous IHRs in order to provide Indigenous patients with culturally safe care,” said Dr. Kendall Ho, who chairs the EPIC Task Group and is the iCON executive director. “One exciting initiative I can share is that we are working with an Indigenous artist to finalize infographic summaries of previous rounds for on-demand learning. These will help us understand the impact of cultural safety.”

iCON and its partners are committed to supporting additional Indigenous cultural safety (ICS) initiatives as opportunities arise. They assisted, for example, with the development and testing of an ICS online course developed for health professionals working in VCH and Providence emergency departments.

“Feedback from the pilot project helped shape the Indigenous Cultural Safety Hummingbird Level 1 – Emergency Department Module 1,” said VCH Director of Indigenous Cultural Safety Cathy Almost. “The unit, which offers two CME credits, is targeted for emergency physicians and nurse practitioners and is available to all VCH and Providence Health Care staff and will be available to all health authorities in the near future. It’s a virtual two-hour course that introduces learners to ICS within the context of an emergency department.”

VPSA encourages members to participate in activities in our community to learn more about the richness and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultural expressions and stories. Register here for the June 20th session on Weaving Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being in Palliative Care.

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