The College of Pharmacists of BC Adopts Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility & Anti-racism Standard of Practice
Eagle flies up so high it looks down and sees all of humanity as one, cannot see our various nations or small differences, Eagle just sees us as one people. When we hold a feather, we remind ourselves of that perspective, and can speak with respect and honesty to each other like the family that we all are.
– Aaron Nelson-Moody / Tawx’sin Yexwulla, Artist
The College of Pharmacists of BC, alongside eleven other BC health profession regulatory colleges, has adopted the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, & Anti-racism Practice Standard. The Standard sets clear expectations for BC health professionals on the provision of culturally safe and anti-racist care for Indigenous patients and clients.
The Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility & Anti-Racism Practice Standard was approved by the College Board on September 23, 2022 and is now in effect.
The new standard has been adapted with permission from the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-racism Practice Standard, developed collaboratively by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility & Anti-Racism Practice Standard
The College encourages registrants to familiarize themselves with the standard and to learn how to better incorporate Cultural Safety, Humility and Anti-racism within their own practices with this list of helpful resources compiled by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC:
These resources have been shared with permission from the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
The colleges that have adopted the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility and Anti-racism Practice Standard regulate more than 28,000 health professionals. The Standard supports the Colleges’ shared goals of eliminating Indigenous-specific racism and fostering culturally safe practice in BC’s health care system.
Words from the Knowledge Keeper regarding this work
“I heard the words of the Hon. Dr. M.E. Turpel-Lafond as did you the Luminaries of the universe of Health here in British Columbia. I have also witnessed you launch your collective canoe into an ocean of troubled waters with both Courage and Strength of heart, to bring into balance health care equity for the 150,000 First Nations People and the Citizens of British Columbia who live on our Ancestral Lands. You are doing this by addressing and alleviating the systemic racism within the Health Care System.
I am proud of you for your industry in this most important history making task and look forward to supporting into the future.”
Sulksun (Shane Pointe)
Developing and Adapting the Standard
The development of the Standard comes in response to Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s December 2020 report: In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care.
The report found that “requirements for cultural safety and humility and addressing Indigenous-specific racism are not adequately embedded throughout policy and standards,” and goes on to recommend the implementation of standards, definitions and expectations requiring health services to be free from all forms of racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples.
In February 2022, the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) collaboratively developed and launched an Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, and Anti-racism Standard of Practice. Development of the standard included engagement and consultation with Indigenous registrants, Indigenous members of the public, and Indigenous partners and organizations such as the First Nations Health Authority.
In January and May of 2022, 11 other BC health regulatory colleges, including CPBC, met to follow up on their commitments to address Indigenous-specific racism in healthcare and move forward in the development of a Practice Standard to address Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-Racism within their own regulatory frameworks.
The 11 Colleges agreed to build on the significant work done by BCCNM and CPSBC and adapt and implement the standard as is, with only minor customization changes. This collaborative approach is intended to promote consistency by ensuring that all regulated health professionals in BC are subject to the same requirements and expectations for providing culturally safe and anti-racist care, as recommended in the In Plain Sight report.
This collaborative work was guided by Sulksun (Shane Pointe), proud member of the Coast Salish Nation, Musqueam Indian Band and Knowledge Keeper to all and Joe Gallagher (k’wunəmɛn), Tla’amin Nation, Principal at Qoqoq Consulting.
The adoption of the standard will be marked with a blanketing ceremony on September 30, 2022, as part of Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The College acknowledges that we are still very much at the beginning of our journey toward dismantling Indigenous-specific racism within our healthcare system. The implementation of this practice standard is by no means a conclusion. Moving forward, the College will continue to engage with Indigenous peoples to ensure that this standard is adequately and effectively addressing the challenges they face when accessing pharmacy and other health services.
The participating Colleges are:
|the College of Chiropractors of BC
|the College of Dietitians of BC
|the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC
|the College of Occupational Therapists of BC
|the College of Opticians of BC
|the College of Optometrists of BC
|the College of Pharmacists of BC
|the College of Psychologists of BC
|the College of Physical Therapists of BC
|the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC
|the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC
The College’s Cultural Safety and Humility Journey
The implementation of an Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-Racism Practice Standard is a significant milestone in the College’s continued journey toward Cultural Safety and Humility and the dismantling of Indigenous-specific racism within BC’s health care system.
This journey started on March 1, 2017, when the College pledged its commitment to improving BC pharmacy professionals’ work with Indigenous Peoples by signing the “Declaration of Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services Delivery for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC."
Since then, the College has regularly published articles in response to current events impacting the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. These articles are intended to raise awareness among registrants of the social and historical factors impacting Indigenous communities, as well as provide them with valuable perspectives to incorporate into their practices to help ensure the provision of culturally safe care.
In December 2020, Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond released In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C Health Care. The report presents overwhelming evidence of Indigenous-specific racism in BC’s health-care system.
Systemic racism and intolerance toward Indigenous worldviews and traditional approaches to health, as well as the enduring legacy of colonialism all present as persistent barriers and poorer health outcomes for Indigenous people when accessing health care services.
In response to the report, in May 2021, the College of Pharmacists of BC, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the BC College of Nurses and Midwives, and the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, issued a joint apology to Indigenous peoples and communities in BC for the racism and discrimination they have experienced while engaging with us and with the health professionals we regulate. As part of this apology, the Colleges pledged to take specific actions both within our organizations, and as partners in the broader health landscape, to address and dismantle the Indigenous-specific racism that exists within our health care system.
The implementation of this Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-Racism Practice Standard is a vital and overarching first-step for us to build upon and further develop, as we work to address the challenges faced by Indigenous communities when accessing pharmacy and other health services in BC.
For additional information on the College’s efforts to dismantle Indigenous-specific racism within BC’s health system, please visit: