Responding to the truth and reconciliation calls to action in healthcare through the arts as a way of knowing, disrupting and healing

The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for Indigenous knowledge and practices to be included in healthcare. But as can be seen in recent, troubling news stories and reports, Indigenous peoples often face racism and barriers to care. People are becoming interested in using storytelling and the arts to listen to Indigenous peoples’ views so we can change healthcare to better meet their needs and priorities.

The purpose of these studies is to work together with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to create more meaningful paths towards reconciliation and equitable healthcare through the arts. First, I, together with a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners, will look at the research using storytelling in Indigenous health research. Then, I will lead three studies to investigate arts-based strategies to support healthcare students in responding to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report; explore First Nations peoples’ cancer experiences using digital storytelling; and develop arts-based programs to support Indigenous patients facing illness. The findings will help us to include Indigenous perspectives and practices in healthcare to move towards reconciliation and address differences in health.