A Telling Text

With efforts being made to address the many Indigenous health issues in Canada, the recommendations put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the high suicide rate in some Indigenous communities, a text sent out by an Alberta Health Services employee has generated much anger and disappointment.

According to an article found on the CBCNews Calgary website,

An Alberta Health Services employee has been suspended after using a racial slur in a text message to refer to a Kainai Board of Education school principal.

The texts sent by the AHS employee on Monday refer to a colleague apparently being disciplined during a training event on the Kainai First Nation, also known as the Blood Tribe First Nation, which is southwest of Lethbridge and about 200 km south of Calgary.

However, the AHS employee accidentally sent the texts to an employee at the Kainai Board of Education.

Ramona Big Head — principal of Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School in Stand Off — said she’s referred to in one of the texts as a “rabid squaw.”

Click here to read the full CBC story.

Here is a follow-up article pertaining to the above story.

Physicians gather to address First Nations health

At a recent event held in Vancouver, physicians came together to discuss a very important topic – namely, First Nation health.

The nearly 7,000 emotional and often tragic stories from the survivors of Canada’s residential school system gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada provided a powerful backdrop to a standing-room only gathering of physicians and other health care providers at a special pre-General Council session on Indigenous health, held Aug. 20.

Truth and Reconciliation commissioner, Dr. Marie Wilson, set the tone for the discussion, saying she wanted to serve as a “channel for the survivor’s words” at the session.

“The ongoing work of truth and reconciliation going on in this country is not in fact just about Indigenous wellness,” said Wilson. “It’s about the wellness of our shared country.”

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Indigenous Health Conference

If you are going to be in Toronto in the latter part of May, here is an event you might want to check out.

Indigenous Health Conference: Towards Health and Reconciliation
May 26-27. 2016
Toronto, Ontario

Topics include: Health disparities, disease among Indigenous peoples in Canada, cultural competencies, safety working with Indigenous peoples, and strategies towards reconciliation and health equity.

Speaking at the conference will be:
Dr Evan Adams, Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Regional Chief Isadore Day, Dr. Karen Hill, Dr. Malcolm King, Dr. Barry Lavallee, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Gary Lipinski, Dr. James Makokis, Dr. Faisal Moola with Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Ian Mosby, Dr. Earl Nowgesic, Natan Obed, Dr. Kent Saylor and Dr. Tom Wong.

Click here for more information and to register online.