Today’s release of the Turpel-Lafond report is yet another reminder that tangible actions to address anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health care system are long overdue.
The findings in the report point to widespread lack of cultural safety, and thousands of examples of racism experienced by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people throughout the entire B.C. health care system. These examples are inexcusable and emphasize the urgency and importance of taking steps to directly address racism in health.
At the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), we acknowledge that systemic racism exists, and that colonialism has influenced and continues to influence the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s health care system. Just as systems are designed and upheld by people, we can also change and improve them.
I want to thank those who contributed to the research, for their strength and bravery in sharing their experiences, and I want to thank Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond for undertaking this important work to bring about necessary changes.
We know the road ahead won’t be easy, but the CMA is dedicated to listening, learning, and humbly contributing in a respectful way.
Dr. Ann Collins, CMA President