Accessing quality health services can be a stressful experience. Anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health systems, such as discriminatory language in interactions with patients and negative stereotyping that influences care decisions, can have a negative impact on health outcomes.
That is why the First Nations Health Managers Association, in partnership with the First Peoples Wellness Circle and the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, are working to change problematic language and perceptions within the context of health systems through the RISE Against Racism campaign.
“RISE Against Racism is an important campaign that will help to address anti-Indigenous racism that has persisted in Canada’s health systems for far too long. I commend the First Nations Health Managers Association, along with the First Peoples Wellness Circle and the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, on their hard work and vision to launch this campaign, as it will help to foster better experiences and outcomes for Indigenous Peoples when they access health care,” said Honourable Patty Hajdu Minister of Indigenous Services in a press release.
Focusing on hospitals, health care providers, health authorities and medical schools, this campaign will work to change problematic biases and perceptions by promoting mutual respect, understanding and empathy toward Indigenous Peoples seeking health services. After its official launch later this year, the campaign will include print marketing, a series of television interviews, radio interviews and commercials, as well as public service messaging to communities informing them of available resources.
“Working together with our partners — the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation and the First Peoples Wellness Circle — provides an opportunity to incorporate our collective strengths, voices, and values into this campaign. We collectively call on Canada and our allies to RISE against racism,” said Marion Crowe, CEO First Nations Health Managers Association.”
Indigenous Services Canada is supporting this work with a $400,000 contribution in 2021 to 2022 and $480,000 in 2022 to 2023. This investment is part of $126.7 million allocated through Budget 2021 over three years to address anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health systems. The Government of Canada remains committed to working with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners and health providers to increase safety and respect for Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s health systems.