The BC College of Family Physicians (BCCFP) extends our thoughts and deepest condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and all Indigenous individuals, Nations, families, and communities affected by the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former residential school building in Kamloops. We stand in solidarity with these communities as they experience the grief and pain brought about by this news.
This is a reminder that systemic anti-Indigenous racism is not only a recent issue for our province, but an ongoing lived reality for many people. The mental and physical health impacts of residential schools continue to be felt every day across British Columbia.
The BCCFP reaffirms our commitment to advocating for cultural safety and humility in family medicine practice. It is our priority to demonstrate and promote anti-racist approaches to address health equity.
We encourage family physicians to engage in self-directed learning on the history of residential schools and colonialism in Canada. An understanding of this context of trauma is essential when caring for Indigenous communities.
What you can do now
- Read the report In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care
- Read about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its 94 calls to action
- Engage in trauma-informed practice
- Review our cultural safety and humility resource directory – engage in reading or online webinars/courses to enhance your understanding
- KUU-US Crisis Line Society: a 24-hour provincial Indigenous crisis line. Adults call 250-723-4050; children and youth call 250-723-2040. Toll-free 1-800-588-8717.
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: Phone toll-free 1-855-242-3310 or chat online at hopeforwellness.ca.
- The Métis Crisis Line: available 24 hours a day at 1-833-MétisBC, 1-833-638-4722.
- Tsow Tun Le Lum: Phone 1-888-403-3123 to access the following cultural supports: Levi Martin, James Quatell or Mike Kelly.
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS): Phone 1-800-721-0066 or 604-985-4464 to access the following cultural supports: Sadie McPhee, Gertie Pierre or Yvonne Rigby Jones. Mental health and counselling services are also available from the IRSSS Resolution Health Support Workers.
Thank you the First Nations Health Authority for recommending these resources.