A message from the CFPC on National Indigenous Peoples Day
We are proud to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous History Month in June. These occasions have renewed significance this year as we reflect on the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan in September 2020 and the recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children buried on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. They are stark and sobering reminders of the institutional and systemic racism that has impacted Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada in the past and continues today. It is vital that all family physicians and medical trainees learn about and dismantle systemic racism in their daily lives and practices.
We all have roles to play in reconciling past and present injustices and in acknowledging how colonialism has negatively affected Indigenous peoples in Canada. National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity for us to recognize these injustices; to celebrate the diverse and unique cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples; and to appreciate their many contributions, talents, and perspectives. We encourage everyone to share in this journey of recognition, respect, and understanding.
As an organization, the College of Family Physicians of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous communities through advocacy work that promotes equitable access to high-quality health care and addresses systemic racism in clinical settings; grants and scholarships to support Indigenous medical students and family medicine residents; and educational efforts designed to ensure all family physicians are equipped to provide culturally safe, trauma-informed care, as described in the CanMEDS–Family Medicine Indigenous Health Supplement.
Join us as we celebrate on June 21st and share your own message of support.
More information about National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day is available on the Government of Canada website.
Catherine Cervin, MD, CCFP, FCFP, MAEd
Francine Lemire, MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, CAE, ICD.D
Executive Director and CEO, CFPC
Darlene Kitty, MD, CCFP
Chair, Indigenous Health Committee, CFPC