Cultural safety and humility

The College offices are located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations.

We continue to integrate the principles of cultural safety and humility into our organizational culture, strategic plan and operations.

The College’s commitment

The time has come to stop the cycle of Indigenous-specific racism that is embedded in BC’s health-care system. Our mandate is to protect the safety of BC patients by ensuring physicians and surgeons meet expected standards of practice and conduct. As part of that mandate, we are committed to inviting the voice of Indigenous people into our governance structure and operations.

Where we are today

In March 2017, we signed the Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility, alongside all health profession regulators, the Ministry of Health, and the First Nations Health Authority.

In response to the signing of this declaration, we has taken immediate steps to create, enable and sustain a climate for change by:

  • recognizing unceded territory in all formal regulatory proceedings
  • collecting data from registrants at annual licence renewal time regarding the completion of the Indigenous Cultural Competency (San'yas) Training Program and whether they identify as Indigenous (these numbers are then reported to the First Nations Health Authority)
  • requiring all board members, the senior leadership team, and employees who engage directly with the public to complete the Indigenous Cultural Competency (San'yas) Training Program

Priorities for future change

While we are proud of our actions so far, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's 2020 report into Indigenous-specific racism in BC’s health-care system revealed much more needs to be done. The report highlights the uncomfortable truth that racism and inequality are as prevalent as ever in our society.

We recognize we can do more and are focused on the following priorities:

  • introducing a standard for registrants that explicitly addresses the requirement to provide culturally safe, humble, and responsive care
  • actively reviewing our complaints process in order to make it more accessible to Indigenous people.
  • engaging in continuous training and educating ourselves and our board and committee members in cultural safety and humility, unconscious bias, and trauma-informed care
  • replacing the College crest, which is a distinctly colonial symbol, as part of a significant rebranding process
  • holding space for Indigenous membership on the College Board and committees
  • investing in supports to ensure a safe environment for Indigenous people engaging with the College
Develop skills and promote positive partnerships between service providers and Indigenous people
Access FNHA's collection of the materials produced to support the initiative
Read Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's final reports