The London InterCommunity Health Centre is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities. As a healthcare organization, we have a responsibility to reflect on our past and what this means for our present realities. Indian hospitals were developed in the early 1900s and many still existed into the 70s and 80s. These hospitals were a method of segregation and restriction, and operated the same as residential schools, as part of the colonial system.
“We acknowledge historical and current systems of power, rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism, have created conditions where certain populations have been treated as expendable, are marginalized and excluded from decision-making, and have inadequate access to resources in society. We recognize that the effects of more than five centuries of colonization – including genocide, dispossession and displacement from traditional lands, forced assimilation and disengagement from ancestry, culture and language, residential schools and the Sixties scoop the Indian Act, among many other oppressive colonial policies, practices and legislation – have resulted in disproportionately poor health outcomes for Indigenous people across Canada.” – AHC Healthy Equity Charter
Discrimination and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples are still prevalent in our healthcare system today resulting in low levels of engagement and poor health outcomes. We see the effects of past and current traumas in the high levels of poverty and homelessness experienced among Indigenous peoples. The Health Centre recognizes our role in improving health outcomes of the Indigenous people we serve. We work in close partnership with Indigenous organizations and Aboriginal Community Health Access Centres to serve Indigenous clients. The Commitment to Reconciliation is a public statement to Indigenous communities the actions we are taking as an organization to better serve them.
For more information, visit us at www.lihc.on.ca/smudge
A HISTORY OF INDIAN HOSPITALS IN CANADA
In this presentation, Dr. Maureen Lux shares a few stories that she found in the archival and oral history research for her book Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada.
This presentation by Dr. Maureen Lux is part of the “Researching and Revealing Indigenous History” Panel at the 9th Canada’s History Forum, Engaging Authentic Indigenous Histories that was held on November 27, 2016 in Ottawa. This event was organized by Canada’s National History Society and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. We are grateful to the RBC Foundation for their financial support.
THE CURE WAS WORSE
So-called Indian hospitals and tuberculosis sanatoriums are a very dark chapter in Canadian history. Former patients and their families allege abuse, loss of language and even medical experimentation. Now, they are looking for answers and will use the courts to get them. Holly Moore travels across the country, through history to tell their stories.
HEALING A NATION THROUGH TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
Canada’s past held some dark and terrible secrets on the treatment of it’s First Nations peoples. Chief Robert Joseph experienced these destructive forces firsthand in the Residential School System and he now explains how sharing these truths was the first step to reconciling a nation. Helping to heal this racism and intolerance is to recognize ‘we are all one’. Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C. is a true peace-builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad. His insights into the destructive impacts these forces can have on people’s lives, families, and cultures were shaped by his experience with the Canadian Indian Residential School system. Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. As one of the last few speakers of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, Chief Joseph is an eloquent and inspiring Ceremonial House Speaker. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in the Big House and as a Language Speaker with the University of BC, an internationally recognized art curator and as co-author of “Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast”.
ELISAPIE HONOURS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES THROUGH SONG
JUNO Award-winning artist Elisapie hosts a special that honours the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples affected by the tragedies of the residential school system in Canada, with musical tributes and ceremonies in Indigenous communities across the land.