Akwesasne – 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.
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.
Indigenous Services Canada is supporting this work with a $400K contribution in 2021-2022 and $480K in 2022-2023. 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.
“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.” – Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services