Creating a culturally safe space for addressing Aboriginal care concerns

June 21, 2022

A healing circle


Everyone deserves to be heard, and to feel safe and understood, but it’s clear from the In Plain Sight Report this doesn’t always happen for members of B.C.’s Aboriginal communities.

The Report, released November 2020, provides 24 recommendations for addressing Indigenous-specific racism within the B.C. health-care system. Among them was the development of a strategy that would improve patient complaint processes and address that racism, which is both individual and systemic.

With this in mind, Interior Health saw a way to create a more culturally safe space for complaint resolution through its Patient Care Quality Office. That’s how Lucie Poisson and Natalie Daniels (pictured below) came to be new Aboriginal Patient Care Quality and Safety Consultants. Patients and clients who self identify as Aboriginal now have an option to be directed to Natalie and Lucie for direct follow-up.

Lucie Poisson and Natalie Daniels, new Aboriginal Patient Care Quality and Safety Consultants.

Aboriginal Patient Care Quality and Safety Consultants: Lucie Poisson (left) and Natalie Daniels

"Something that came out of the In Plain Sight Report is that respondents didn't feel comfortable bringing their concerns forward, and one of the barriers to bringing concerns forward to an office such as ours is that people didn't feel their concerns were going to be taken seriously," says Natalie.

Interior Voices podcast host Tracy Mooney recently met with Lucie, Natalie, and Shari McKeown, IH’s Director for Patient Safety, to discuss the new positions, and how they will contribute to better and more culturally safe recourse for people’s concerns.

Culturally safe recourse means that a patient or client has control of how the resolution process looks. They might choose to submit their concern in writing, have a phone call, or meet in person. Or, they might request a healing circle, have family or friends present with them, or another restorative approach.

"When a client is stepping forward with a concern or a story or an experience to share, that feedback is a gift for us and it leads to an opportunity to improve our care and services and make them safe for everybody's use," says Shari.

As Interior Health continues to work to improve health care for all, these new positions provide a culturally safe space for Aboriginal patients and clients to share.

"It's critical for us to hear from people about their experiences, worries and challenges in receiving care, or the omission of care, so that we can start to reconcile and take action," says Lucie.

Learn more:

Interior Voices podcast

Interior Health Patient Care Quality Office

In Plain Sight Report and Recommendations

Stories@IH

Stories@IH

More Articles for Health & Wellness

2 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

A whole new language has been introduced to our daily conversations, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Words and phrases like variants, mRNA…

4 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

Immunization and vaccines are important throughout your life. Vaccines are products that produce immunity to a specific disease. Immunization (or…

2 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

Talking about suicide - starting the conversation, listening, providing support, and connecting people with help – can be difficult and even scary…

6 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

There’s little I love more than cruising down a sweet single track on my mountain bike. Add my dog and some pals into the mix and you have a…

2 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

A person can bleed to death from an injury in as little as five minutes. That means every second counts when it comes to stopping uncontrolled…

2 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

This week, kids in B.C. are headed back to school. There will be many more people on the roads commuting to both school and work. While the…

STAY CONNECTED

Receive alerts, news and stories@IH right to your inbox!

mail