At the September 2019 meeting, College Board (Council) approved the adoption of three opportunities to cultivate Indigenous cultural competency amongst non-Indigenous Board members, College staff and registrants:
- Develop a commitment to act. The College will identify ways to address cultural inequities to improve patient outcomes (reflecting the Calls to Action identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action) and strive to build relationships with Indigenous communities and others focused on Indigenous health.
- Create a page on the College’s website that will include resources such as a training module on the inclusionary services that the College expects of registrants.
- Begin Board meetings with a land acknowledgement, which will help remind Board members, College staff and registrants that we all have a role in the reconciliation process and to consider this role within our work.
The College’s Indigenous cultural competency and safety commitment has emerged from our growing awareness of the disparities in healthcare and health outcomes for Indigenous people. Our approach to all three of these opportunities will reflect the importance of working in collaboration with Indigenous communities to improve pharmacy care and patient outcomes.
The land acknowledgement was first incorporated that December 2019 Board (Council) meeting.
In 2020, the College will take the important first steps towards building better linkages and partnerships with Indigenous communities and their governments in Ontario. We will focus on enhancing awareness among non-Indigenous Board members and College staff while sharing information and resources for non-Indigenous pharmacy professionals to support their understanding of the roles they play in helping to support the health and wellbeing of the Indigenous peoples within Ontario.
The land acknowledgement, as part of the College’s commitment above, is spoken by the Chair of the College’s Board of Directors at the beginning of each Board meeting.
We would like to acknowledge that the land we meet on today is the Traditional Territory of many Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Incorporating a land acknowledgement into Board meetings reminds Board Directors, College staff and registrants that we all have a role to play in the reconciliation process and the responsibility to consider this role within our work.
While land acknowledgements are not formally articulated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Actions, they are based on the principle that Truth comes before Reconciliation. By acknowledging that the land on which the College operates is traditional Indigenous land, the College aims to demonstrate its dedication to bettering pharmacy care for Indigenous people while acknowledging the historical past of the province and the country.
For organizations who may been exploring how and why to incorporate a land acknowledgement in their meetings or events, an article on Territory Acknowledgement from Native Land provides an overview of land acknowledgements, how to do them and additional related resources. It is important to note that land acknowledgements will vary by region and location and should involve collaboration with local Indigenous communities.