On National Truth and Reconciliation Day, the Canadian Medical Association reaffirms its commitment to reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and accepts responsibility for the harm caused to Indigenous children, families and communities. Reconciliation can only take place when we all take on the responsibility.
The CMA is moving forward with the co-development of initiatives to address inequitable health outcomes in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. With humility and respect, we will partner with Indigenous Peoples. We will stand with them, if welcomed, to break down barriers that stand in the way of good health for all Indigenous Peoples.
As we look to the future, the CMA will continue to work with partners such as the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada to support and be in the service of change.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued a comprehensive set of Calls to Action following a thoughtful in-depth conversation with Indigenous Peoples across the country. Six years later, the need to act on the TRC recommendations has never been so pressing. When it met on Aug. 21, the CMA Board unanimously called for immediate action, including:
- Addressing the ongoing structural inequities that marginalize First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities;
- Advancing the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in societal systems and sectors, including health systems;
- Committing to collaborative and respectful relationships with Indigenous patients and communities.
Together, we can contribute to true reconciliation and a brighter future, while never losing sight of our tragic and painful history.
Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA President
Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA President Elect
Dr. Ann Collins, CMA Past President
Dr. Abdo Shabah, CMA Quebec Board member