Today, Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Board Chairperson R.W. (Dick) Carter and CEO Scott Livingstone formalized the SHA’s commitment to the Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC highlighted recommendations, including specific items for health care organizations across the country, in an effort to move forward toward reconciliation with First Nations and Métis People.
“The Saskatchewan Health Authority acknowledges the pain, loss and dislocation caused by the residential school system on individuals, families, communities and nations,” said Board Chairperson R.W. (Dick) Carter. “Today, we are acknowledging our commitment to create concrete and sustainable actions for change in our system to improve health outcomes for First Nations and Métis People.”
The SHA engaged with the First Nations and Métis communities and its employees to help identify ways in which the organization could meet the recommendations set out in the Calls to Action. The results were used to guide the development of the SHA commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. To help monitor progress on goals set out in the commitment, the SHA will establish an Implementation Working Group, which will report back to SHA senior leadership and to the community on progress made toward achieving those goals.
“This public commitment builds upon our ongoing dialogue with our First Nations and Métis partners,” said CEO Scott Livingstone. “While we have accomplished many things working together, we also realize that more work needs to be done to create a health care system that adheres to our organizational values and that continues to put patients and families at the centre of everything we do.”
Other speakers at the event included students who attended residential schools, a Knowledge Keeper, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Métis Nation - Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Health.
The SHA engaged First Nations and Métis partners in preparing its statement of commitment. The engagement is part of the work currently within the SHA that includes expansion of First Nations and Métis Health programs across the province, the development of a patient navigation system, the establishment of a First Nations and Métis Relations office, ongoing community engagement as well as recruitment and retention efforts.
Dignitaries at the ceremony in Regina on March 4 included (from left) Glen McCallum, President of the Metis Nation Saskatchewan; Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Second Vice Chief David Pratt; SHA Board Chair R.W. (Dick) Carter; Chief Alvin Francis of the Nekaneet First Nation; and SHA CEO Scott Livingstone. In the background is speaker Winston Bear.