WCH CONNECTJune 10, 2019

Join us in honouring Indigenous Peoples’ historical and present-day contributions to healthcare, education and community building for the future

  • June 10, 2019
  • BY Selena Mills

June has been an exciting month around the hospital with the commemoration of National Indigenous History Month, National Indigenous Peoples’ Day (June 21) and Pride, as WCH has been named an Honoured Group of the 2019 Pride Festival, chosen for our commitment to improving access to transition-related care for the trans community. Together we celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit, Métis peoples, and the LGBTQ2S community —lifting up shared contributions, perspectives, rights, and healing practices as we explore peaceable and authentic reconciliation together.

This month is our collective opportunity to learn more about the truthful and confederate history of the relationship between First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people and Canada. We are all encouraged to stand with Indigenous colleagues, peers, students, patients and in our communities to end all forms of violence. A good starting point for those who are beginning or continuing their learning journey is digging into the Calls-To-Action from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Enhancing and ensuring the safety of women, girls and LGBTQ2S individuals has been a core value that WCH upholds and the Indigenous Health Education Group at WCH urges everyone to read the federally mandated report and calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Two-Spirited and Trans People.

We hope that some of the events and community engagement we’ve planned – in particular, this month – will provide enriching opportunities and resources that will impact the seeds of growth for change and new applications and actions as summarized in the report on Bringing Reconciliation to Healthcare in Canada: Wise Practices for Healthcare Leaders, co-written by Tracy Murphy and Dr. Lisa Richardson, strategic lead in Indigenous Health at Women’s College and co-lead in Indigenous Medical Education at the University of Toronto.

Join us in honouring Indigenous Peoples’ historical and present-day contributions to healthcare, education and community building for the future. Visit the Indigenous Health Education table during the Staff BBQ on June 21 (11:30 AM - 12:30 PM) with WCH Elder Senator Constance and Tina Kinnee-Brown, Indigenous Peoples’ Health Education Coordinator, to learn more about the many initiatives, new art installation, programs, and specialized services underway.

Special highlights include an opening with Eagle Woman Singerz, a new display in the front entrance archival case display highlighting Mabel Jones – the first Indigenous nurse to graduate from WCH, a new Land Acknowledgement video as well as an informal library and art walking tour.

Upcoming events in June: 

June 19 | 2 PM | 191 Gerrard St. East 
Native Women’s Resource Centre Round Dance

June 11 | 25 | July 9
First Contact - APTN documentary miniseries screening and discussion
Women’s College Hospital Auditorium  

June 21 | 10:30 AM | First Nations House | UofT
Indigenous drummers in affiliation with University of Toronto’s, First Nation House

June 21 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
WCH Staff BBQ Indigenous Health Education Booth  

June 28 | 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
WCH Labyrinth Kairos Blanket Exercise

The Blanket Exercise is based on participatory popular education methodology and the goal is to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy.

Art: Chief Lady Bird
Art: Chief Lady Bird

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