Sept. 30, 2021, marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. First and foremost, East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) would like to acknowledge the survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Canada’s residential schools and legacy of colonization have left our First Nations, Inuit and Métis brothers and sisters with trauma that continues to impact their health and well-being today.
Public acknowledgement of this history is the first step in addressing the ongoing impacts of residential schools, which is vital for healing and reconciliation. ETHP would like to encourage everyone to learn about the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. In healthcare and many other sectors, we are talking about building back better. This involves reflecting on practices and processes with an equity lens to ensure they are not harmful to members of our communities. We believe building back better prioritizes true allyship and working with communities that have suffered due to colonialism. This will help us achieve meaningful self-determination and reconciliation.
In healthcare, this work is imperative to improving health outcomes for our most vulnerable clients. We must measure our own progress in addressing health outcomes of Indigenous and racialized communities and working closely with members of those communities to address gaps in care. This National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we invite you to learn from our First Nations, Inuit and Métis brothers and sisters and their allies; to unlearn oppressive patterns and systems; and to reflect on the realities that have resulted from Canada’s colonial past so, together, we can reduce systemic barriers for our priority populations.
On behalf of the ETHP leadership team,
Jason Altenberg, South Riverdale Community Health Centre
Anne Babcock, WoodGreen Community Services
Keith Chung, East Toronto Family Practice Network
Sarah Downey, Michael Garron Hospital
Melissa Morey-Hollis, Providence Healthcare (Unity Health Toronto)
Dr. Kathryn Nichol, VHA Home HealthCare
Dr. Catherine Yu, East Toronto Family Practice Network
Martina W., Patient and Family Advisor
Shirley Zhu, Patient and Family Advisor