I want to begin by first acknowledging and honoring all those who are survivors of residential schools, and their families and communities, and in remembrance of the children who never made it home. This Friday, I will wear my orange shirt as a way to honour the children and to ensure that we do not forget…and as my personal commitment to walking through the world in a way that endeavors to embody cultural humility and allyship.
September 30th, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, holds special significance for me in many ways. For me, it is a day to pause, reflect on and bring awareness to the lasting impacts of colonization across this country. I am reminded that Truth comes before Reconciliation, and so this day of honoring is an opportunity to truly reflect on our history as a country with Indigenous people and be fully present to the Truth. In doing so, I know that part of the Truth reveals that the health care system isn’t always a safe or welcoming place for Indigenous people.
As a nurse, I think about our patients and families, and what we ought to be doing as practitioners and leaders to create a system of care that is truly transformed, a system in which everyone feels seen, heard, understood, welcomed and safe. And while I know great strides have been taken towards this, I acknowledge that we still have a way to go. I humbly position myself as a learner and make a daily commitment to not only learn more but seek to understand and advance truth and reconciliation in all aspects of health care. I believe it is our shared accountability and responsibility to create a climate for change and cultivate and champion action!
I am grateful to the many Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Teachers I have had along the way, and for those that continue to support my learning, growth and commitment to action. These mentors have consistently and compassionately demonstrated what is means to live life with grace, humility and kindness and I am forever thankful. I truly raise my hands to all of you at Providence Health Care for your continued efforts in making Providence a safe and welcoming place for all.
I know that we take to heart our commitment to treating those we serve with compassion and respect, and to ensuring we live up to our standard at PHC of “How you want to be treated”. When we authentically live and serve in this way, we lay the foundation for health, wellness, and healing to take place, and it is truly my honor to walk alongside each of you in this journey of Truth and Reconciliation.