Truth & Reconciliation – CEO Message Blog Post Feature Image

A message from Christina Krause, Chief Executive Officer

You hear the phrase a lot these days – truth and reconciliation.

But do we really understand what these words mean? More importantly, what are we doing to ensure they are more than just things we say? How do we show we are not only acknowledging that Indigenous Peoples continue to be affected by colonialism, but also actively address the impacts that colonialism has wrought?

That’s exactly what the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 is all about. It honours the Survivors and children who never returned home from residential schools, a tragic and painful history with ongoing effects today. We also recognize Orange Shirt Day on September 30, which reinforces the concept that Every Child Matters and raises awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational traumas of residential schools.

By commemorating these days, we take steps toward reconciliation by knowing and acknowledging the impacts of residential schools. However, true reconciliation will only be possible once government, businesses and organizations like Health Quality BC also take action to address those impacts.

At HQBC, we are actively taking steps to eradicate racism and discrimination in BC’s health care system throughout every facet of the work we do, and we’ve asked Indigenous communities to hold us accountable for our actions. You can read about it in our commitment statement, because quality care respects individuals for their distinct perspectives and acknowledges their cultural contexts. We are committed to ensuring our actions are actively in resistance to Indigenous-specific racism, in support of Section 1.1.1 of the BC Cultural Safety and Humility Standard.

Action is a key responsibility we must all take. And while September 30 is the day chosen to recognize truth and reconciliation, it’s an action that must occur every day of the year. We must pay it more than just lip service.

How we do this is complex – there are no easy answers and we’re all at different places on our journey. But if we take one step today, that’s one more than we took yesterday. Let’s keep moving forward, together.