Truth and Reconciliation Commission

On November 7, 2016 the PARA Assembly approved the following motion:

Be it resolved that the 2016-2017 PARA Assembly support the following resolution:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Since Alberta’s resident physicians are committed to supporting the health and wellness of all Albertans, PARA acknowledges the important work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the valuable contributions that have been made toward supporting the health of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People of Canada. Recognizing not only the impact residential schools have had on former students but the ongoing intergenerational trauma, PARA supports working together with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People of Canada to improve their health and wellness.

Background
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was tasked with preparing a complete historical record on the policies and operations of residential schools and completing a public report, including recommendations to not only the parties of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement but for all those affected by the residential school experience.

Part of the TRC report focused on the health of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People of Canada. As resident physicians, we are committed to supporting the health and wellness of all those for whom we provide clinical services. The TRC’s health calls to action (pg. 2-3) serve as a guide to and reminder of how to best serve Alberta’s Aboriginal population.

Specifically, the following calls to action speak directly to the medical care provided by resident physicians:

22. We call upon all those who can affect change within the Canadian health-care system to recognize the value of Aboriginal healing practices and use them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients in collaboration with Aboriginal healers and Elders where requested by Aboriginal patients.
23. We call upon all levels of government to:
iii. Provide cultural competency training for all health-care professionals

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People are a distinct group within Alberta’s population. To best support them, resident physicians should be educated as expressed by the TRC. This includes being educated in the resources and supports available both to our Aboriginal people and the health care provider.

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