On March 1, 2017, CPTBC joined all other BC health profession regulators in signing the Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals Serving First Nations and Aboriginal People in British Columbia.
In June 2021, CPTBC, the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia, and the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia published a collaborative statement on their commitment to supporting social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, to opposing and taking action to address racism, oppression, and discrimination.
On July 27, 2021, CPTBC along with 10 other health regulatory colleges in BC signed a Joint Statement of Apology and Commitment to Action which states, in part:
As the leaders of health regulatory colleges in British Columbia that govern more than 21,000 health professionals, we respectfully and humbly apologize to Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), communities and registrants of our respective Colleges who have experienced and suffered from racism while engaging with our organizations or with the health professionals we regulate.
– Apology and Commitment to Action, 2021
We take these commitments, to enhance the health and safety of Indigenous peoples, very seriously.
While there is no agreed-upon definition of “decolonization,” generally, the term speaks of the need to unravel colonization. Decolonization and reconciliation are deeply related. As stated in the document What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation (PDF) (2015) by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, reconciliation “is a process of healing of relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms” (p.3).
Mindfulness of decolonization and reconciliation in healthcare practice enhances public safety by ensuring no one’s race and/or culture stands in the way of safe, unrestrained, and equal access to care and services in BC. Indigenous-specific racism in the health care system can be addressed in part with a commitment by health care professionals, including physical therapists, to provide culturally safe, individualized health care grounded in cultural humility.
Physical therapists protect equal access to care for all people in BC, ensuring that physical therapy services are safe, ethical, and fairly accessible to all.
The College organizes, and offers continued cultural safety and humility training to staff, Board and committee members. We encourage physical therapists to continually renew their efforts on their learning journey of cultural humility in the pursuit of providing culturally safe care. This effort requires a committed and intentional learning journey that spans the length of one’s time in practice.
The College is dedicated to supporting registrants on this long and meaningful learning and self-reflection journey.