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SETTING THE FOUNDATION FOR GOOD RELATIONS IN OUR HOMELAND: A WEBINAR BY INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS ADDRESSING RACISM IN HEALTHCARE

January 11 @ 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

SETTING THE FOUNDATION FOR GOOD RELATIONS IN OUR HOMELAND:
A WEBINAR BY INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS ADDRESSING RACISM IN HEALTHCARE

JANUARY 11, 2021
11-1 PM PST | 12-2 PM MST | 1-3 PM CST | 2-4 PM EST | 3-5 PM ADT
Register at turtlelodge@mts.net | www.turtlelodge.org

A ZOOM link will be provided to all who register.

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On October 16, 2020, federal Ministers of Indigenous Services Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations, Health and Northern Affairs Canada convened a national meeting with Indigenous Peoples and organizations, healthcare professionals, and provincial and territorial representatives to work toward eliminating systematic racism in the healthcare system.

At the October meeting, presenters, including family physician Dr. Sabina Ijaz, advocated for the leadership role of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers in addressing racism in this country. (See Dr. Ijaz’s presentation, below.)

The National Turtle Lodge Council of Knowledge Keepers was invited by the Government of Canada to host a Webinar to address the issue, and help offer guidance to the country.
SETTING THE FOUNDATION FOR GOOD RELATIONS IN OUR HOMELAND

A WEBINAR BY INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS ADDRESSING RACISM IN HEALTHCARE

MODERATED BY DR. SABINA IJAZ AND ASSOCIATE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS SERVICES, VALERIE GIDEON

JANUARY 11, 2021
11-1 PM PST | 12-2 PM MST | 1-3 PM CST | 2-4 PM EST | 3-5 PM ADT


AS WE MOVE INTO A NEW YEAR WITH NEW BEGINNINGS, THIS IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS.

AS THOSE WHO HAVE TRADITIONALLY OFFERED GUIDANCE AND LEADERSHIP IN INDIGENOUS NATIONS, THE KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS BRING A MESSAGE OF LOVE, HOPE AND UNITY FOR ALL IN THIS COUNTRY.
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A Doctor’s Perspective on Indigenous-Led Solutions to Systemic Racism – Friday, October 16, 2020 (By Sabina Ijaz, MD CCFP FCFP)

A Special Presentation at Canada’s Urgent Meeting to Address Racism Experienced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s Healthcare Systems.

CANADA’S URGENT MEETING TO ADDRESS RACISM EXPERIENCED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN CANADA’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS

Friday, October 16, 2020

Presentation by Sabina Ijaz, MD CCFP FCFP
Primary Care Physician | Pine Falls Primary Health Care Centre
Volunteer | Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness
Volunteer Medical Consultant | Giigewigamig First Nation Health Authority

Good Morning.

Thank you Elders for the prayer, and my condolences to the family of Joyce Echaquan.

As a woman, I’ve worked for 20 years as a physician in a number of Indigenous communities in Manitoba. I’ve also worked with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers for most of my adult life.

The national network of Knowledge Keepers based at the Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness have been my teachers and colleagues for almost 30 years. They have currently been engaged by the federal government to share their understanding of what an Indigenous-led health system could look like for this country, as we build back better. I believe they could be called upon to help this country address the challenge of racism.

These are esteemed and highly respected Indigenous Elders and leaders, grounded in their communities, fluent in their original languages, in relationship with the land, and rooted in the traditional ceremonies, teachings and traditions of their People. They are individuals who’ve worked and studied a lifetime in the ceremonies, earning the knowledge that they now share willingly with young people of all cultures.

Indigenous Knowledge Keepers have taught me to look at health in a much more holistic way, acknowledging that one’s spiritual wellness, identity, and the values that one practices in life have much effect on health, as does one’s connection with nature.

They have taught me about the root causes of disease, and the root of racism. They have shown me how nurturing the spirit and connecting to the land through Indigenous healing practices can take us much further in healing.

If one does not feel solid in their own identity, feels depressed or doesn’t have a vision in life to motivate, one lashes out or hurts others or themselves. Indigenous healers and Knowledge Keepers are gifted in addressing our hurting spirit, the true root of the disease of racism. Through time-tested practices of counselling, healing ceremonies, and land-connecting practices, they can help lift our spirit and encourage us to find our own unique and individual identity. We learn positive values, inspired through the ceremonies, the teachings and the land.

Indigenous Peoples have survived genocide and racism in their homeland because there are those who have continued to practice their identity and their ancestral traditions and ceremonies, based on values of kindness, sharing and respect for the sacredness of life. There are still those who speak with their unique voice as proud Peoples who have refused to give up who they are. It is their voice that is needed today.

I too can offer stories of how Indigenous Peoples are frequently re-traumatized by the care they receive. Racism, poverty, cultural dislocation and powerlessness impact Indigenous Peoples on a daily basis. My medical licence was threatened in 2009 when I supported two First Nation communities’ desire and self-determined protocols to screen their children for chronic disease in Manitoba, which has the highest rate of child diabetes in North America.

I’ve seen what doesn’t work. We cannot legislate morality. Efforts to draw attention to racism are not received well. Forcing behavioural change creates more animosity and fails to unite us.

I picture what this country would look like if Indigenous People were still running their homeland. We would see ceremonies practised openly and proudly as the foundation of a way of life, teaching values of caring and sharing, and a love for the Earth. We would see natural laws being practiced as the norm.

Indigenous Peoples have a history of leading in their homeland for tens of thousands of years, evolving with a knowledge that today could help save our species from extinction, never mind racism. The time is now for Indigenous Peoples to lead again.

This is why I support working to rebuild a system with a strong foundation of values led by Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. They represent a way of life, and a path forward that I have witnessed and worked within for the last 30 years. Theirs is a way of living and understanding life that I believe can change the whole paradigm in this country.

Through Turtle Lodge, we worked to build a traditional healing centre at the local Pine Falls Hospital – called Giigewigamig, a place of healing. The Elders were the only ones able to bridge the political divides and unite the people. Giigewigamig established its own First Nation Health Authority and set up a partnership relationship with the Interlake-Eastern RHA. We have a strong voice in the hospital to deal with all issues affecting patients, including the Giigewigamig Board making requests to remove those staff exhibiting racism.

I call on this country to engage with and offer support to the Indigenous Knowledge Keepers to lead us in our way forward. The Turtle Lodge’s National Council of independent, non-political Knowledge Keepers from many Nations across this country have already demonstrated how Nations can work together.

Their leadership will look a lot different… and I believe they are our hope and our way forward.

Thank you very much.

**
Dr. Sabina Ijaz is a primary care physician who has worked in ERs and as a hospitalist in Indigenous communities in Manitoba for the last 20 years. For over 30 years, she has also worked closely with the Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness, and a national group of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers on many Indigenous-led health, education, justice and climate initiatives in the communities. She is a volunteer medical consultant to the Giigewigamig First Nation Health Authority.

In 2020 Dr. Ijaz was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by Doctors Manitoba, in recognition of her work with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. She recently co-authored a Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) cover article entitled Indigenous-led Health Care Partnerships in Canada.

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Details

Date:
January 11
Time:
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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