Today, Headwaters joins with our health care colleagues and communities across Canada in marking Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to remember and reflect on the tragic history of residential schools, to honour the thousands of Indigenous children who did not return home and to honour the survivors, their families, and communities.
Headwaters is committed to empowering all Indigenous patients and their health care providers to explore their unique culture and establish culturally safe spaces for care discussions, treatment exploration and care delivery. We are guided by the calls-to-action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, specifically those focused on meaningful change in health care.
Our hospital is committed to working actively with our Indigenous partners and to learn from them what is important for us to know as health care providers to ensure we are exploring Indigenous practices, values and beliefs which impact care. We will also work to reduce structural barriers for access and active participation in their care and experiences.
We are seeking to understand and learn from other health care organizations locally, across the province and beyond. Locally, we are working with the Community Wellness Council of the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team, with our Access and Equity Committee and Patient and Family Advisors as well as well as the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle (DCCRC). Our work also includes gathering input in redeveloping our multi faith space.
Our commitment is not a box to tick but rather a journey that will take place over time. One step on that journey was enacted earlier this year when we implemented a policy for smudging ceremonies at Headwaters.
The nature of health care means that our clinical operations and programs will continue to run as we provide continuous care and service to patients and clients today.
The obligation for leading change lies with each of us individually and our collective work as a community hospital, but we look forward to the leadership and guidance from our Elders and our Indigenous colleagues and partners in this journey.
We are all connected, and we can move forward together, united in thoughtfulness and compassion and guided by one of our hospital’s core values, that of kindness.