As nurses within Ingram School of Nursing (ISoN), we welcome the foundational recommendations on justice, health and education in the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada: Calls to Action report and we strongly support McGill’s Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies & Indigenous Education launched in September 2016.
Our practice is strongly grounded in Strengths-Based Nursing Care. As such, social justice, equity, health promotion, collaboration, and accessibility are our underlying values.
We strongly support the two core themes of the Provost’s Task force:
1) recognition of Indigenous history (Indigenous refers to First Nations, Inuit and Métis), contemporary presence and ways of knowing and learning; and
2) reconciliation through education and institutional efforts aimed at redressing historical legacies of injustice and repairing relationships with Indigenous peoples.
We commend the courage and strength of the survivors of residential schools and their families as they contribute their experiences and expertise to educate the Canadian population and are part of a process of collaborative national reconciliation.
We acknowledge the health impact of historical and political policies on the current gap in health indicators for Indigenous communities across Canada.
We value the important opportunities for wide-reaching, positive system change and commit to address identified health inequities through the development of sustainable multilevel diverse partnerships.
As the largest group of healthcare providers within the Canadian healthcare system, we acknowledge nursing’s historical and ongoing role in perpetuating injustice and health inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples. We believe it is our professional and ethical responsibility to respond, collaborate and advocate for equitable access to health for all Indigenous persons and communities.
In response to the Provost’s Task Force findings and TRC Calls to Action, the Ingram School of Nursing commits to the following actions:
We will build a plan to improve and promote equitable access to nursing education opportunities and enhance the presence and success of Indigenous students at the ISoN. We aim to recruit Indigenous faculty and staff members into the ISoN.
We commit to ethically consult with Indigenous populations to refine the development of our curricula, so that our curricula will optimally address recommendations identified within the TRC Report – namely cultural humility and cultural safety. In collaboration with our Indigenous Partners we will use the Cultural Competence and Cultural Safety in Nursing Education: A framework for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nursing to inform our curriculum. We commit to the integration of these competencies throughout our curricula. Students will be introduced to the history and legacy of the residential schools, key documents related to Indigenous health, an introduction to Indigenous healing practices, cultural humility and culturally safe practice standards and guidelines. Students will be given opportunities to apply, and be evaluated on, their knowledge and application throughout their educational experiences.
We will pro-actively develop partnerships with Indigenous communities to support the development of intercultural competencies that foster leadership among our students and our graduates in the delivery of culturally safe care for Indigenous peoples.