Sept. 29, 2022

SMA observes Sept. 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) offices will close Sept. 30 in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The federal government has declared Sept. 30 a federal statutory holiday.

“Saskatchewan’s physicians understand that historic injustices have created disparities in health care,” said SMA president Dr. John Gjevre. “We see first-hand the impact on patients of intergenerational trauma caused by the legacy of residential schools and government policies. Physicians are committed to tackling racism and discrimination in the health care system in order to improve health outcomes for all of our patients.”

Dr. Gjevre noted the SMA’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee has undertaken initiatives to educate physicians and provide a deeper understanding into the root causes of racism in medicine. Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka has been hired as Physician Advocate, EDI, to spearhead SMA efforts in EDI.

Dr. Gjevre encourages physicians and the public to join SMA staff on Sept. 30 to take a moment and reflect on the calls to action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“We need to reflect on truth and reconciliation every day – including Sept. 30 – and do what we can to eliminate racism and barriers to care in the health system,” he said. “The SMA and Saskatchewan’s physicians are working every day toward a more inclusive and equitable system for all.”

Other resources:

University of Saskatchewan website and resources

Histories of Indian Residential Schools in an Era of Truth and Reconciliation (Humanist Canada) – 1 hour video

The Unforgotten – A five part film exploring the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples living in Canada

Government of Canada website

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation resources

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