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On November 30, 2020, Independent Reviewer Hon. Dr. M.E. Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe) released her report, In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Carewith the findings of an investigation to address Indigenous-specific racism in BC’s health care system.

This report clearly shows that interpersonal, organizational and systemic Indigenous-specific racism exists across BC’s healthcare system. This racism, and the ongoing impacts of colonialism, results in inequities across all areas of wellness – in health care, and also housing, employment and day-to-day safety for Indigenous Peoples.

Foundry central office acknowledges the truths contained in this report and the truths written and unwritten that came before, including the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada We thank and honour the courageous, resilient people who have shared their stories. We ask that all our partners read through this report and reflect on its importance and meaning.

As part of BC’s health care system, one of many systems that have and continue to oppress Indigenous Peoples, Foundry commits to zero tolerance of racism within our organization. We have made mistakes and we have taken too long in addressing the harm that Indigenous young people and families may face in accessing our services. We acknowledge we have a tremendous amount of work ahead to ensure our policies, procedures and services are safe for Indigenous young people, families and communities. To do this, we are learning from young people, families, centres and communities about Indigenous cultural safety and are developing a framework to support an action plan to embed the rights of Indigenous Peoples to culturally safe, responsive and compassionate care in communities across BC. Through this, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will guide us.

We are committed to learning from this report, and to working alongside First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, youth and families to ensure we are moving in the best direction to support Indigenous cultural safety and humility.

If you would like to reach out to Foundry central office to engage in this discussion, please contact Seren Friskie, Youth Peer Engagement Coordinator, at sfriskie@foundrybc.ca.

This report may bring up feelings of distress, grief and discomfort for some readers. Please see FNHA’s Health and Wellness Support for Indigenous Peoples for culturally safe and trauma-informed resources.

 

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