Content warning: residential schools, death. The information and material presented here may cause unpleasant feelings or thoughts for some people. Many individuals find it helpful to discuss these feelings in a supportive and trusting environment. Please reach out to the supports most appropriate to your individual needs:
In 2021, the government of Canada officially made Sept. 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation; the Province of British Columbia also officially declared Sept. 30 a statutory holiday in March 2023. This is a day for all people living on Turtle Island, now known as Canada, to recognize the tragic legacy of residential schools and honour the children who never returned home, the survivors of these institutions, the families left behind, and their communities.
Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history, and ongoing impacts of residential schools, is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Interior Health (IH) is committed to addressing past and present harms resulting from the residential school legacy and negative effects to the health and well-being of Aboriginal Peoples. This comes in the form of addressing Indigenous-specific racism within the B.C. health-care system by focusing on advancing Aboriginal health and cultural safety within health service delivery.
In advance of this year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we wanted to highlight some of the change-makers at IH who are working to strengthen our relationships with Aboriginal partners, and recognize and appreciate the heritage and diverse cultures of Aboriginal communities and people we serve, and how we’re striving to embed their wisdom, knowledge, and culture into how we deliver services to provide culturally safe care.