With a focus on moving talk into action, the panel discussed a number of approaches CAMH could take as an institution, including approaching care for Indigenous patients through a trauma-informed lens; working in culturally safe ways; continuing to work toward breaking down the stigma around mental illness and the systemic racism that has long-been a part of the mental health care system; and sharing knowledge and best practices with other care providers.
But while we have much to teach, we also have so much to learn – and our work in reconciliation is just beginning.
“One of our promises is that we will all learn and teach,” said Dr. Zahn. “We’ve come a long way in our understanding of how we can listen and hear.”
“Reconciliation is not always going to feel good, but if it’s feeling uncomfortable, it’s probably a good sign,” added Dr. Crawford. “As health care providers we’re often full of good intentions, but good intentions are not good enough.”
There are approaches individuals can take, too.
“Have you read the 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report ? If not, read them and pick one that speaks to you – and implement it,” said Dr. Littlechild, who had travelled from Treaty 6 Territory in Alberta to take part in the panel discussion. “Reconciliation begins with each of us.”