June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada
June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, an opportunity to learn, reflect upon and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Throughout this month and beyond, we encourage registrants to take a moment to recognize and honor the history, culture, resilience and contributions of Indigenous peoples who have inhabited this land since time immemorial.
Larn more about National Indigenous History Month and explore ways to participate:
“As stewards of public health and safety, we have a responsibility to challenge our own biases and assumptions in order to better address the unique health needs of Indigenous peoples, and to ensure that their voices are always heard in the decisions made about their health and wellness.”
- Suzanne Solven, Registrar and CEO, College of Pharmacists of BC
Creating healthcare environments where Indigenous clients feel safe and respected requires pharmacy professionals in BC to actively foster trust and build meaningful relationships through a deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures, histories, and worldviews.
Our commitment to learning and understanding enables us to provide care that is rooted in humility, anti-racism, and the promotion of health equity for all. Together, we can work towards building a future where every Indigenous person feels safe and respected when accessing healthcare services in BC.
Better Care for Indigenous Clients
Late last year, the College, alongside eleven other BC health regulators, adopted the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility & Anti-Racism Practice Standard. The Standard sets clear expectations for BC health professionals on the provisions of culturally safe and anti-racist care for Indigenous clients.
The Colleges that adopted the Standard regulate more than 28,000 health professionals. The Standard represents a significant step forward in our shared goal of eliminating Indigenous-specific racism, fostering culturally safe practice and recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples within BC’s healthcare system.
Self-Education for Health Professionals
Self-education for health professionals is especially important in addressing systemic racism and intolerance toward Indigenous worldviews and traditional approaches to health, as well as the enduring legacy of colonialism present in our healthcare system.
A commitment to self-education by pharmacy professionals helps to remove the burden from Indigenous clients. Indigenous Peoples face a unique set of issues, risks and challenges when it comes to accessing and receiving healthcare in Canada. As such, cultural safety and humility is an essential and ongoing journey for health professionals in sourcing opportunities to learn about and understand these issues and to recognize the barriers faced by Indigenous Peoples within our healthcare system.
Events, Resources and Ways to Start Your Journey of Self-Education
Learn more about the College’s commitment and efforts to dismantle Indigenous-specific racism within BC’s healthcare system:
Explore the past and honour the truth (Government of Canada)
Take the first steps on your educational journey:
- Learn about Inuit across Canada
- Learn about Métis across Canada
- Learn about First Nations across Canada
Learn more about present-day communities (Government of Canada)
Look at these maps of Indigenous Peoples and lands to see the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities around you and the traditional land you live on. Find out more about the significance of land acknowledgment and how you can integrate this practice in your life.
2023 weekly themes (Government of Canada)
Each week will be dedicated to a different theme to highlight specific aspects of Indigenous history, cultures and perspectives. Explore learning resources on each theme:
June 1 to 6: Women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people
June 5 to 11: Environment, traditional knowledge and territory
June 10 to 18: Children and youth
June 19 to 25: Languages, cultures and arts
June 26 to 30: Reconciliation
Show your support
All month long, individuals, communities and organizations will showcase First Nations, Inuit and Métis historic figures, leaders and cultures on social media with the hashtag #NIHM2023. Join the conversation and share what resonates with you!
San’Yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Online Training
San’Yas Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) training is a unique, facilitated on-line training program designed to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous peoples. Participants learn about terminology; diversity; aspects of colonial history such as Indian residential schools and Indian Hospitals, time line of historical events; and contexts for understanding social disparities and inequities. Through interactive activities participants examine culture, stereotyping, and the consequences and legacies of colonization. Participants will also be introduced to tools for developing more effective communication and relationship building skills.
Indigenous Canada Course – University of Alberta
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores the different histories and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous peoples living in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores complex experiences Indigenous peoples face today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.
Cultural Safety and Humility ReadLinks Series
Since signing the “Declaration of Cultural Safety and Humility in Health Services Delivery for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples in BC” in 2017, the College has regularly published articles in response to current events impacting the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, as well as in celebration of Indigenous culture.
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.
- These articles are compiled in our Cultural Safety and Humility ReadLinks Series.
Apologizing for Our Actions
In response to the In Plain Sight Report, in May 2021, working alongside the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC), the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC), and the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM), the College issued an apology to the Indigenous Peoples and communities who have experienced racism while engaging with us and the health professionals we regulate.
In May 2022, the College’s involved in the joint apology released a one-year progress report outlining the commitments made by each college and the actions and accomplishments made for each commitment in the first year following the apology.