“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

A B.C. First Nations Tribal Council wants the creation of a task force to improve health care for Indigenous people in northern British Columbia.

“I was overwhelmed with sadness that these types of treatment of Indigenous people continues today,” Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) Chief Mina Holmes said of video showing a dying Indigenous woman being taunted by health care workers at a Quebec hospital.

“I was absolutely horrified and I think that is the general response to the video and story of Joyce and what happened to her.”

A Hamilton task force addressing racism was established nearly three weeks after nationwide outrage ensued following the death of Joyce Echaquan.

In an Oct. 21 open letter to Canada’s Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, CSTC said Indigenous people living on and reserve in northern B.C. constantly face the same kind of racism and cruelty as has Echaquan.

“I feel that people of color, visible minorities, such as First Nations people, in particular are significantly over-represented in the discrimination in the health care system as well as other systems,” Holmes said.

Pointing to the Lejac (Fraser Lake) Residential School that operated from 1922 to 1976, Holmes said many generations had attended the facility in which many medical nightmares and unethical practices took place as well at the nearby hospital.

While an independent investigation by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond will release its findings into allegations of racism in B.C’s health care system before the end of this year, Holmes maintains an Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. cannot wait.

Read More: Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

“These recommendations will also take time, and we’re not sure how enforceable they will be.”

Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada declined comment.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsHealthracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

Most Read