On Friday, October 14, 2016, a historic ceremony took place on the grounds outside St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, as Saskatoon Health Region and St. Paul’s Hospital raised a Truth and Reconciliation flag as part of their commitment to acting on the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.
"Today we acknowledge the pain, loss and dislocation caused by the residential school system on individuals, families, communities and nations, and know we need to foster and maintain respectful relations with First Nations and Métis people, including our own staff, physicians, patients, clients, residents and their families," says Dan Florizone, President and CEO, Saskatoon Health Region.
Saskatoon Health Region employee Neal Kewistep and his father, Gilbert, a residential school survivor, raised the flag together. The raising of the flag signifies an important opportunity to right the wrongs and being a journey of healing and change.
Dan Florizone (left) reads the commitment to reconciliation while the flag is held by Gilbert and Neal Kewistep.
The flag raising followed a private pipe ceremony with Elders, First Nations and Métisleaders, Residential School survivors, community partners and Saskatoon Health Region senior and operational leaders, along with St. Paul's Hospital board members and administration.
This journey of change in the health care system has only just begun. There is much left to do to improve to achieve better health for all First Nations and Métis people.
During the ceremony, Saskatoon Health Region and St. Paul's Hospital signed a Commitment to Reconciliation in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report calling for all Canadians to be part of the Reconciliation process to address the devastating impacts of the residential school system on the health and well-being of First Nations and Métis people.
Read the full story regarding the ceremony
Saskatoon Health Region Commits to Reconciliation
"Reconciliation is about maintaining and forging relationships. There are no shortcuts." ~Justice Murray Sinclair, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The Saskatoon Health Region acknowledges that we are on Treaty Six territory and homeland of the Métis. The First Nations and Métis people are traditional caretakers of this land; we pay our respects to the keepers of this land.
We commit to fostering and maintaining respectful relations with all First Nations and Métis people.
We commit to the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
Saskatoon Health Region recognizes that First Nations and Métis people have a holistic view of health and well-being, including traditional medicines and practices that have existed since time immemorial. Health and well-being includes the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of an individual.
We commit to honouring the traditional worldview, knowledge, and practices of First Nations and Métis people for health and well-being.
Saskatoon Health Region recognizes that residential schools have had a serious impact on the health and well-being of First Nations and Métis people across Canada. These harms related to health must be addressed through constructive action within Saskatoon Health Region.
We commit to providing culturally safe care to all of our patients, clients and residents.
We commit to increasing the number of First Nations and Métis employees within the Saskatoon Health Region.
Saskatoon Health Region acknowledges the pain, loss, and dislocation caused by the residential school system on individuals, families, communities, and nations.
We commit to continuing to find constructive ways of implementing the Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, June 2015 that are relevant to health and healthcare.
Saskatoon Health Region offers many programs and services that are in alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action including: First Nations and Métis Health Service, cultural competency training and workshops, translation services, and Elder and Residential School support staff. We recognize that we can improve these areas to work towards achieving better health for all First Nations and Métis people.
Gary Beaudin, Board of Directors, Saskatoon Regional Health Authority
Dan Florizone, President and CEO, Saskatoon Health Region
October 14, 2016