Ways to acknowledge National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Canada marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation each year on September 30. The day honours the children who never returned home from residential schools and the survivors, as well as their families and communities. September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family, and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools.

VMDAS and VPSA encourage members to wear orange on September 30 and to consider other ways they can participate in the reconciliation process. VPSA’s Engaging Physicians in Indigenous Cultural (EPIC) Safety Task Group prioritizes and advances Indigenous cultural safety in health-care settings. Its purpose is to engage medical staff in the co-creation of education resources and learning opportunities around Indigenous cultural safety principles and how these can be effectively implemented. Education resources include Indigenous Health Rounds (IHRs) developed by the UBC Digital Emergency Medicine interCultural Online Health Network (iCON) and VCH Indigenous Health. You can watch past IHRs here.

The next IHR is happening on October 17 with the theme of Uplifting Cultural Safety. The 90-minute session will be delivered via Zoom and has been certified for up to six Mainpro+ credits. It will be facilitated by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Director of Indigenous Cultural Safety Cathy Almost and Kwelkwáyel7simia Wendy Nahanee, a Host Nation Matriarch from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation and VCH Indigenous Strategic Lead and Facilitator.

“Our goals are for participants to come to understand what Indigenous cultural safety looks like in health care,” said Mrs. Almost. “We want physicians and medical staff to learn ways to build trust and avoid pitfalls when providing care for Indigenous patients.”

More information about this session including the opportunity to register will be included in upcoming issues of your weekly Checkup newsletter.

The IHRs typically receive exceptional feedback on the quality of their presentations. The most recent session, held on June 30, was a presentation on Weaving Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being in Palliative Care and attracted 321 participants. Of those who completed the post-event survey, 99 per cent reported the session improved their recognition of barriers to palliative care for Indigenous people, 96 per cent agreed they learned something to help provide or facilitate culturally safe care and that the session improved their understanding of the role of traditional values in providing culturally safe palliative care. You can read more feedback about the session here.

VPSA funded the final report of the first VCH Patient Experience Think Tank that was held in October 2022. Eighty representatives attended the think tank including elders and representatives from various VCH teams.

“We expect this think tank to be the first of many and are grateful to VPSA for funding the report so we can share our findings,” said iCON Executive Director and EPIC Task Group Chair Dr. Kendall Ho. “Through the wisdom shared by attendees, we were able to identify areas for improving and measuring patient experience as a foundational discussion. I encourage VPSA members to read the report and to prioritize the provision of culturally safe care.”

VPSA also funded a new video on iCON’s IHR website. The video features Elder Roberta Price giving an opening prayer to welcome everyone to the site.

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