Cultural Safety and Humility

Indigenous Artwork featuring a hand holding a feather representing the unity of the people

The CDBC acknowledges that when it comes to cultural safety and humility with Indigenous peoples, it needs to start with all of us.

We remain committed to exercise our mandate of public safety and support more inclusive and equal health care delivery to Indigenous peoples through the regulation of dietitians.

Cultural safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent to health care relationships. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe and supported to access, receive, and make informed decisions about their health care.

Cultural humility involves educating health professionals on the history of the treatment of Indigenous peoples throughout Canadian history and facilitate self-reflection in understanding personal and systemic biases that may prevent Indigenous peoples from accessing health care. It aims to develop relationships based on reciprocal trust and listening, while acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.

“An eagle feather is significant to many Indigenous peoples. One Squamish Nation Elder told me one story about why we may hold a feather – because Eagle flies up so high it looks down and sees all of humanity as one, cannot see our various nations or small differences, Eagle just sees us as one people. When we hold a feather, we remind ourselves of that perspective, and can speak with respect and honesty to each other like the family that we all are”. – Aaron Nelson-Moody / Tawx’sin Yexwulla, Artist

On March 1, 2017, all BC Health Regulators declared their commitment to making the health system more culturally safe for Indigenous peoples by signing the Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety and Humility. Signing the Declaration of Commitment reflects the priority placed on advancing Indigenous cultural safety and humility among Dietitians by committing to actions and processes which will ultimately embed culturally safe practices within all levels of health professional regulation. During the 2021 Summer, the CDBC took a step further in its reconciliation action and published an apology and commitment to action regarding Indigenous-specific racism within the BC healthcare system.

Eagle Art

As part of the system, CDBC needs to be part of the solution. Our role is to protect the public, including Indigenous people, by regulating dietitians in a way where Indigenous voices and experiences are heard, valued, and respected. This short document addresses the history and impact of colonialism within dietetics and what CDBC is doing to contribute to a better future.

It is meant to support non-Indigenous BC dietitians in their cultural safety and humility journey and create a space to have ongoing productive conversations on this topic.

Competencies and Standards of Practice

The CDBC is pleased to share that it has adopted the Indigenous Cultural Safety, Humility (ICSH), and Anti-Racism Standard of Practice along with ten other health profession regulators in BC. The standard is informed by the recommendations from the In Plain Sight report and supports several existing CDBC Standards of Practice (4, 9, 12, 13, 14) in fulfilling the CDBC’s commitment of eliminating Indigenous-specific racism and fostering culturally safe practice in BC’s health care system. It acknowledges that Indigenous-specific racism exists in health care and sets expectations for Dietitians to provide culturally safe and appropriate care to BC’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

Read the announcement here.

Read more about how the In Plain Sight report informed the development and adoption of the ICSH and Anti-Racism practice standard.

Icon of the Pledge Document for registrants to complete

Dietitian’s Commitment

In 2016, FNHA carried out a campaign to support health care professionals in achieving the collective goal of culturally safe health services for First Nations and Aboriginal people in BC. The campaign was called #It Starts With Me.