Cultural safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the health care system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe when receiving health care.1
Cultural humility is a process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and to develop and maintain respectful processes and relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience. 2
Local Indigenous Context
In most areas of BC, Indigenous-led health and social services are provided in partnership with or through First Nations or Métis communities, as well as through Aboriginal Friendship Centres. In Kootenay Boundary, the traditional and unceded territory of the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Sinixt and Syilx Nations, there are no First Nation Bands or Reserves (the closest band is the Lower Kootenay (Yaqan Nukiy), of the Ktunaxa Nation, located near Creston). There are three chartered Métis Communities within the region, which provide cultural support and connections for Métis people. There is no Aboriginal Friendship Centre in the Kootenay Boundary.
There is a dispersed population of Aboriginal peoples living in the region. While Nation members from the unceded traditional territories of the four Nations named above live in Kootenay Boundary, there are also Aboriginal people from a variety of other Nations. With over 600 distinct Nations across Canada’s southern provinces, as well as the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and Dene peoples in the North, it is important to recognize the diversity of cultures and traditions of Aboriginal people. Many local Aboriginal people live away from family and some may be disconnected from their land and cultures.
The Circle of Indigenous Nations Society (COINS) is the only Aboriginal-governed and staffed health and social services organization in Kootenay Boundary. It serves a geographically dispersed and culturally diverse Aboriginal population of 6,190 people (Census 2020), a total of 6.4% of the region’s total population. With the introduction of Kootenay Boundary’s Primary Care Network, two Aboriginal Health Coordinators have been hired to support the region’s Indigenous population; they were joined in January 2022 by the Aboriginal Patient Navigator.
Become familiar with resources available to Aboriginal peoples to share with your patients. There are Aboriginal patient resources found on the KB Culturally Safety website which you can find HERE. In addition, the Aboriginal Health Team at COINS can be a fantastic resource for yourself and Aboriginal patients.
Click the button to download your *Cultivating Cultural Safety in Your Clinic Toolkit for Kootenay Boundary Practitioners
*Prepared by the KB Cultural Safety Working Group, with the support of Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice, Kootenay Boundary Aboriginal Services Collaborative, and Circle of Indigenous Nations Society Practice, Kootenay Boundary Aboriginal Services Collaborative, and Circle of Indigenous Nations Society Produced April 2022.
kbculturalsafety.org is a resource hub for Kootenay Boundary practitioners. Here you will find an inventory of patient resources, filterable by nation, for practitioners to use in helping patients to find the health care supports they need for themselves, and/or their family.
For further hands-on support, practitioners can also refer patients to one of Kootenay Boundary’s Aboriginal Health Coordinators using this referral form: https://coinations.net/referral-form-for-aboriginal-health-coordinator/.
1. Creating a Climate for Change, First Nations Health Authority
2. Creating a Climate for Change, First Nations Health Authority