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September 30, 2022, will mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation “to commemorate the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools and to honour those who were lost and the survivors, families and communities who continue to grieve.”

September 30 is also observed as Orange Shirt Day, promoting recognition of the colonial legacy of residential schools and commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation.

On this day, BC Health Regulators and the College of Optometrists of BC, recognize the harmful impacts of racism directed towards Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia’s health-care system. The College encourages registrants to review BCHR learning resources to learn more.

We acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples continue to face health inequities, racism and systemic bias caused by the current and historical colonization of the territories we live and work in. This results in a higher level of negative health outcomes and substandard care for Indigenous Peoples.

The complexity of Canada’s colonial history, the multigenerational impact of residential schools on the health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples, and the deep-seated stereotypes that often plague the healthcare system are barriers to providing culturally respectful healthcare.

As healthcare providers, we recognize that we must develop cultural humility as a process of self-reflection to understand our own systemic biases.

In honour of this day, the College office will be closed, to allow staff to learn about and reflect upon cultural safety and humility.

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