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

The following links are published pages on the CDBC website where you can go for more information related to CSH:

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.

Competencies and Standards of Practice

The regulation of the dietetic profession shares national entry-level competencies, a national education program accreditation system and a national registration examination. CDBC is committed to ensure cultural safety and humility is embedded within all registration tools and requirements.

The latest revised version of the competencies (2020) includes detailed wording for cultural safety and humility, especially towards Indigenous peoples (practice competency 2.03).

The CDBC Standards of Practice were approved by the Board in 2016 and include seventeen standards divided into four pillars of practice. Out of the seventeen standards, six standards speak to elements of cultural competence and concepts:

  • Professional and Ethical Practice (standard 4, ethical practice and standard 6, informed consent)
  • Communication and Collaboration (standard 9, clear, respectful and culturally sensitive communication)
  • Client-centered Services (standard 12, quality client-centered service that reflects client context, needs, values and goals, standard 13, evidence-informed service inclusive of client perspective and circumstances, and standard 14, use of critical thinking to incorporate elements of cultural competence and patient advocacy in care planning).
Eagle Art

As part of the system, CDBC needs to be part of the solution [1] [2]. 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.

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.