New Practice Standard Launched on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On September 30th, our new Practice Standard 21: Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility and Anti-Racism was jointly launched with ten other BC health profession regulators.

The Standard was developed and implemented by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physical and Surgeons of BC in February 2022, following extensive consultations with Indigenous registrants, leaders, and clients. These two colleges permitted the other 10 health profession regulators and us to approve the Standard for our own registrants.

We invite you to join us on a learning journey towards Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility and Anti-Racism. In the coming weeks, we will share learning resources to help us all on our journeys to understand the new Standard and how it will support the provision of culturally safe healthcare for Indigenous Peoples.

Our new Standard 21: Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-Racism (PDF) responds to one of the recommendations within In Plain Sight report (In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care (PDF)). The report provided clear evidence of Indigenous-specific racism in the B.C. healthcare system. As partners in the system, health regulatory colleges have a responsibility to do better, and we are committed to continue our journey to dismantle racism and improve competent and ethical health care delivery to Indigenous Peoples.

The collective work of 11 BC health regulatory colleges to adapt and implement a common Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility and Anti-Racism Practice Standard was marked with a First Nations ceremony on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2022. The ceremony was guided by Sulksun (Shane Pointe), proud member of the Coast Salish Nation and the Musqueam Indian Band, and Knowledge Keeper to all, and Joe Gallagher (k’wunəmɛn) of Tla’amin Nation, Principal at Qoqoq Consulting Ltd. The ceremony was held at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

As part of the ceremony, a representative from each of the 11 colleges was blanketed to support our hearts and a headband placed on our heads to support our minds as we continue to do this work going forward. Sulksun deposited red ochre on the floor in front of us. He explained the ochre symbolises the earth and the earth as medicine. He asked each of us to step forward on to the ochre and told us as we stepped that we became different from how we were before.

He sprinkled eagle down on our heads to symbolize truth. The eagle down began to float in the air and moved around the room, demonstrating that we need to be flexible in this work just as when an eagle soars in the air currents, moving up and down. Several witnesses then spoke to share what they had heard, seen, and felt during the ceremony. All of us present felt the impact of the ceremony and that it helped to strengthen our commitment to this work.