Reconciliation Flag to Fly at SHA Corporate Office
In a ceremony in Saskatoon today, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is marking its commitment to truth and reconciliation by raising a Truth and Reconciliation Flag at its corporate head office at Saskatoon City Hospital. The flag will be flown on a permanent basis at City Hospital as a symbol of the SHA’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
The initial flag-raising is being led by Grand Chief Dave Gamble and will follow a ceremony that includes speeches from a residential school survivor, a Traditional Knowledge Keeper, a Patient Family Partner, and SHA Interim CEO Andrew Will.
“This marks another important step forward in our work toward the health-related Calls to Action in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Andrew Will, SHA Interim CEO. “Flying this flag at our head office represents our commitment to improve health outcomes among First Nations and Métis peoples and serves as a reminder that we need to work every day to strengthen our partnerships with Indigenous peoples.”
The SHA continues to collaborate with First Nations and Métis stakeholders for their guidance on the provision of culturally responsive healthcare in the communities served by the SHA. Senior leaders meet regularly with our Knowledge Keepers Advisory Council for guidance on providing culturally safe care.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been fortunate to have the support of First Nations and Métis leaders from communities across the province to help with our response,” said Will. “This work has underlined our need to continue to build and maintain trusting relationships with these leaders so that we are better positioned to serve First Nations and Metis peoples in every corner of Saskatchewan.”
Shirley Isbister, the President of Central Urban Métis Federation Incorporated (CUMFI), a close working partner of the SHA, stated, “Raising the Reconciliation Flag honours residential school survivors and shows their commitment to the cultural mosaic that is our community. Fly the Reconciliation Flag with pride”.
A formal ceremony was held in Regina in March of 2019 where the SHA formally and publicly committed to work towards the recommendations, and the Board of Directors reaffirmed that commitment on June 23rd of last year.
“Due to the pandemic, formal recognition events like this flag-raising were put on hold,” said Will. ”I am delighted to be gathering once again to mark this important and symbolic milestone that reaffirms the SHA’s commitment to the TRC and the work ahead.”