FNHA Gathering Wisdom Forum: What We Heard
The following content has been adapted from the following report:
In January 2020, College Staff, as part of the British Columbia Health Regulators Cultural Safety Task Force, took part in the First Nations Health Authorities’ (FNHA) Tenth Annual Gathering Wisdom Forum (GWX).
It is respectfully acknowledged that the Gathering Wisdom Forum 2020 was held on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations who have had a special relationship with this land since time immemorial. The BCHR Cultural Safety Working Group is grateful for the privilege of visiting and conducting important work from this traditional territory with sincere thanks and appreciation to the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations.
GWX provides an opportunity for First Nations governance, health and wellness leaders to dialogue with the FNHA on health programs and services, discuss the role of health and healing in Nation rebuilding, and learn about new opportunities in the areas of health and wellness for First Nations communities.
The BCHR Cultural Safety Task Force participated in the Gathering Wisdom Forum from January 14, through 16, 2020 as an exhibitor with two key objectives which related to its mandate of public protection:
- To raise awareness and build trust among members of the public and First Nations communities about health profession regulation in BC, including where to go with complaints about potentially unsafe and/or disrespectful healthcare services.
- To dialogue with members of the public and First Nations communities about cultural safety, collecting stories and feedback regarding topics that centre on culturally safe healthcare services.
In addition to providing hand-out materials to event attendees, the task force collected responses to different questions, each focused on cultural safety in BC’s healthcare settings.
Feedback from participants, along with other findings collected throughout the three-day forum have been compiled in a BCHR Report. Learnings from this event, which are included in the report, have been shared with all BC Health Regulators, FNHA and the public to continue to build awareness of these issues and the opportunities to improve the care Indigenous Peoples receive in BC
Here’s what we heard
The following major themes related to cultural safety in healthcare profession regulation became apparent through the dialogue with attendees.
- Locally Relevant, Mandatory Cultural Safety Training
- Addressing Stereotypes and Providing Respectful Care
- Cultural Safety Outcomes
Other notable themes included increasing the diversity of the healthcare professions to include more First Nations peoples, specialized support for Elders, and more access to healthcare services for remote communities.
Below is a sample of some of the responses we received to the different questions asked of attendees throughout the event:
What would you want regulators to know about the care that health professionals provide (or don’t provide)?
- Need culturally diverse and knowledgeable healthcare providers
- More recognition of First Nations benefits, especially off-reserve
- Need to take the time, ask the questions – know your client/patient before you treat
- They should be aware of the history of residential schools and be understanding about it
- Take time to listen to the stories of clients
- Education on cultural safety – should be a mandatory part of registration, including the relationship building piece with community
What can regulators do better to help guarantee cultural safety in healthcare services?
- Medical personnel can only be educated about appropriate protocol if they genuinely take the time to spend/share cultural experiences delivered by local First Nations who they are providing services for.
- When incidents occur in medical services and their delivery, and they are reported, there needs to be a real, meaningful, recordable, measurable and active resolution and once addressed, it must be sustained and reviewed to ensure that behaviour, especially racial profiling and rudeness, do not fall back into the routine treatment of our people.
- Find a way to raise awareness/educate about cultural safety in a reciprocal manner – how we are all part of this initiative – at public events provide info on how to more forward in a good way with this!
- More accountability to those who do not share respect or practice cultural safety. Currently no consequence or accountability.
- Include First Nations who are local and knowledgeable to collaborate in the development and delivery of cultural sensitivity.
- Respectful tone when questioning or seeking information
How do you know when you have received culturally safe care?
- When you feel respected and heard by the health care provider
- Having the value of traditional medicines recognized
- Cultural rooms in hospitals, patient navigators
- When the conversation is easy and happy
- When you feel comfortable with the care of your doctor
The message from attendees at the Gathering Wisdom Forum X is clear: BC Health Regulators need to continue to improve the provision of culturally safe care for Indigenous Peoples in what is now called British Columbia.
Read the Report
Additional information and a full summary of responses received from event attendees is available in the full report:
CULTURAL SAFETY AND HUMILITY
The learnings from GWX reinforces the College’s commitment to improving BC pharmacy professionals’ work with First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples through the “Declaration of Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services Delivery for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC” signed by College Registrar, Bob Nakagawa, on March 1, 2017.
The College recognizes that making impactful change requires working together with the First Nations Health Authority, other health regulators, pharmacy associations, First Nations groups, and others to act on its plan and create a healthcare environment free of racism and discrimination, where individuals feel safe and respected. It is also a journey of learning about the culture and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in BC.
Learn more about our commitment at:
CULTURAL SAFETY AND HUMILITY READLINKS SERIES
Learn about the culture and experiences of First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC, the importance of acknowledging racism in healthcare, and the role of cultural humility and safety in providing care in this Cultural Safety and Humility ReadLinks Series. The series also captures the College's journey in learning about cultural safety and humility including what we hear through engagement with First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC.