On September 30th, the CDBC and 10 other BC Health Regulatory Colleges gathered with an Indigenous leader, Knowledge Keeper, witnesses and guests for a traditional First Nation blanketing ceremony to mark the adoption of the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility, and Anti-Racism Practice Standard.
The ceremony took place at the Vancouver Maritime Museum on the unceded, ancestral, traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. The relational accountability of ceremony was established through the application of First Nation laws and protocols to affirm and demonstrate commitment of the Colleges to continue working to eliminate Indigenous-specific racism. The Coast Salish protocols of the ceremony included family gathering, speaking the truth, sharing of wealth, witnessing, and reaffirming the accountability and commitment of the participants.
During the ceremony, Musqueam Knowledge Keeper Sulksun dispersed red ochre on the floor symbolizing medicine and the life force of Mother Earth. As Registrars were asked to step forward and walk on the red ochre, Sulksun explained that who they were before is now changed as they stepped on the medicine that lifts them up. The Eagle feathers that were put down on the Registrars’ heads represent the pureness of the moment and the willingness needed to be flexible and continue moving forward with the work despite any resistance that might be faced in the future. At the end of the ceremony, Registrars were gifted a rock from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories, picked at the site where they announced their public apology and commitment to action in 2021. Rocks tell story about the earth and are used to mark sites and celebrations. You may view the complete ceremony here.
As a reminder, the Standard supports the goals of eliminating Indigenous-specific racism and fostering culturally safe practice in BC’s health care system. It sets expectations for Dietitians to provide culturally safe and appropriate care to BC’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. The collaborative work was informed by the existing standard of the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and guided by Sulksun (Shane Pointe), proud member of the Coast Salish Nation and the Musqueam Indian Band, and Knowledge Keeper to all, and Joe Gallagher (k’wunəmɛn) of Tla’amin Nation, Principal at Qoqoq Consulting Ltd.
The Standard is applicable to all CDBC registrants, regardless of their workplace or area of practice. If you have questions and/or feedback, please contact CDBC at firstname.lastname@example.org The CDBC will continue to communicate ongoing reconciliation actions and information on our website and CSH Q&A.
Photo credit: Michael Lee Sean