WE ARE COMMITTED TO ADVANCING INDIGENOUS RECONCILIATION

Health Research BC acknowledges that colonization and systemic racism have critically impacted the past and ongoing health and wellbeing of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.

 

We know that inequities exist within the health research system that perpetuate harm to Indigenous peoples and communities.

 

Health Research BC is moved to enact system change as guided by BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the province’s framework for reconciliation based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

 

We envision a health research system that values Indigenous ways of knowing, and research methods that respect Indigenous self-determination.

 

To that end, we have created commitments to Indigenous reconciliation to guide us in fulfilling our role and responsibilities as BC’s health research agency. Our commitments are informed by important relationships, including with the BC Network Environment on Indigenous Health Research (BC NEIHR) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA); learning from Indigenous advisors and colleagues, key reports, and other research agencies that are on this important journey. Our aim is transformative, yet we have foundational work to do, and a lot to both learn and unlearn. We will approach this work in the spirit of humility, care, and curiosity.

 

Our commitments are grouped into three areas:

 

Organization

We have resourced an Indigenous reconciliation and development team, and training for staff and Board members is planned. We will learn about and embed cultural safety in our organizational communications; seek more Indigenous perspectives on our Board, committees and working groups; and create culturally safer environments where Indigenous people feel supported to contribute.

 

Programs

We will increase our support for Indigenous health research career development and Indigenous health research, grow our capacity for appropriate review of Indigenous research applications, and adopt mechanisms to gather data respectfully and appropriately from applicants and peer reviewers on Indigenous self-identification to gauge our progress.

 

External relations and partnerships

We will grow our partnerships with provincial and national organizations to support Indigenous health research careers, Indigenous-led health research and Indigenous self-determination.  A priority is continuing to develop and deepen meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples, communities, collectives and organizations in BC, grounded in humility, attention to cultural safety and respect for different world views and protocols.

 

Our commitments are an active and ongoing process, like reconciliation itself. We know that progress will depend on strong relationships based upon trust and respect – and that those relationships will take time to develop. As we continue this journey, we look forward to learning, working in partnership with Indigenous peoples and organizations, and holding ourselves accountable for this work.

 

For more information, please contact:
Gillian Corless, Senior Manager, Indigenous Partnerships at gcorless@healthresearchbc.ca.