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Siksika Health Services host the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta for inaugural visit to expand partnership and address discrimination in health care

Media Release | Posted May 4, 2022

Edmonton, AB – The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) visited Siksika Nation for an historic meeting with Siksika Nation and Siksika Health Services (SHS) leadership, to expand upon their growing partnership, discuss potential solutions related to discrimination in healthcare, and share stories of lived experiences of racism and discrimination.

The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta is on a journey of increasing their awareness and learning about Truth and Reconciliation in an effort to create culturally safe care spaces and improve health outcomes for Indigenous peoples. CPSA has been intentional about connecting with influential Indigenous physicians and community leaders that they can learn from and partner with as they build a framework together to promote culturally competent care across the province of Alberta.

In 2021, CPSA welcomed Dr. Tyler White, Siksika Health Services’ CEO to CPSA Council as an appointed public member. CPSA Council is comprised of elected regulated members and appointed public members. In 2021, the Albertan voice became more prominent on CPSA Council, as they moved to an equal composition of elected regulated members and appointed public members.

On May 3, 2022, Siksika Health Services hosted CPSA in a day of culture sharing and the continued effort to lay down the foundation of a long relationship that hopes to build our healthcare system for all. The day featured stories and presentations from SHS, Siksika Chief & Council, and CPSA delegates. Anti-Indigenous racism, Siksika’s COVID-19 response, and potential solutions around discrimination in health care served as working themes.

The day wrapped with CPSA members touring Siksika Nation’s Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.

“CPSA is humbled and honoured to be invited to Siksika Nation today. This special gathering will further strengthen our relationship with Siksika Health Services, and we look forward to learning from the experience to enhance equity in health care.” – Stacey Strilchuk, CPSA Council President

“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in this very special and meaningful day. Our goal at CPSA is not just to listen, but to take action and hold ourselves accountable for our past and present role in addressing racism and discrimination in our healthcare system.” – Scott McLeod, CPSA Registrar

“We’re not looking for special treatment, we’re just looking for equitable treatment.” – Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation

“Who is being held accountable? Who will stand up for those who are being victimized? for those who are being mistreated? The answer is us. Siksika Nation.” – Councillor Sam Crowfoot on Indigenous people’s healthcare

In the coming months, CPSA and Siksika Health Services will continue to work together towards addressing and eliminating systemic racism within the healthcare system in Alberta, where it exists, and ensuring that Siksika members and all Indigenous peoples are provided culturally safe healthcare services.

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