Building Indigenous Cultural Safety – Commitment and Action
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – NCTR published its report with 94 Calls to Action focused on addressing the historical and ongoing harms caused by the residential school system on survivors and their families. There are 8 TRC Calls to Action aimed at health care institutions that are relevant to the work of occupational therapy regulators and ground this commitment. In November 2020, the B.C. Ministry of Health released Dr. M.E. Turpel-Lafond’s (Aki-Kwe’s) report, In Plain Site: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care that revealed the prevalence and devastating impact of Indigenous-specific racism on health outcomes. ACOTRO, comprised of all ten of the provincial occupational therapy regulators, accepts its responsibility to address Indigenous-specific racism and support cultural safety and humility in the regulation of occupational therapists.
ACOTRO is committed to the work contemplated by the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action to build culturally safer occupational therapy practice in Canada.
ACOTRO will support its member organizations, namely the ten provincial occupational therapy regulators, to increase awareness of their respective responsibilities for leadership on Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility in their regulation of occupational therapists.
ACOTRO commits to being a supportive partner and working in collaboration with the other national occupational therapy organizations to promote systemic change for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
ACOTRO representatives attended a full-day session of the OT TRC Task Force with an emphasis on the commitments of the Task Force and the national organizations that join together as Task Force participants.
Presentations regarding the reconciliation journey of two regulators.
Invitation to join the CAOT Task Force early on in the year; now referred to as the OT TRC Task Force; TRC & Indigenous Health – Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists | Association canadienne des ergothérapeutes (caot.ca) )
Contributed to the CAOT Task Force presentation at the CAOT conference.
Participated in the planning of the OTC Reflection Day* held on June 22, 2021 – Equity and Justice; ACOTRO representatives attended the online event.
Participation in the multiparty work to create a new joint position statement on Equity & Justice.
Beginning conversation about how to change complaints processes in support of this work of the provincial regulators.
Launch of the new Competencies for Occupational Therapists in Canada, 2021 OT-Competency-Document-EN-web.pdf (acotro-acore.org)which includes the domain entitled Culture, Equity and Justice.
Participation in the planning of the OTC session Mapping a Way Forward for Occupational Therapy to Partner with Indigenous Peoples in the Promotion of Reconciliation and Justice held on May 27, 2020; ACOTRO attendance at the online event.
Focused conversation about collection of Indigenous Identity with consideration of the CIHI Race-based and Indigenous Identity Tool Kit.
Participated in the CAOT TRC Task Force explorations of potential ACOTRO efforts to support building Indigenous cultural safety.
Ongoing participation in the CORECOM project to develop a new competency document.
Review of the many aspects of efforts ACOTRO could facilitate with provincial regulators. This included personal reflection / education, Council and Board education / organizational and operational changes / work with provincial partners such as educators and associations / supports to registrants.
Work begins in earnest on the new OT competencies with a stated plan to consider diversity, equity and inclusion through the CORECOM project.
ACOTRO Strategic Plan (July 2018 – 2021) includes a commitment to the Strategic Priority to Influence Systemic Change with the following stated goal: to establish principles and strategy to integrate Indigenous cultural safety (ICS) into ACOTRO as an organization and influence ACOTRO member organizations and other stakeholders.
The 2018 Reflection Day was held on June 20, 2018, with the day titled Disrupting ‘business as usual’: Enhancing the provision of culturally safe occupational therapy with Indigenous communities, families and individuals through organizational leadership.
ACOTRO provided leadership to the planning committee; the session included the involvement of the BC Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to inform our conversations and provide Indigenous representation.
OTC Reflection Day* – A Collective OT Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action; ACOTRO representation on the planning group.
ACOTRO recommends, and the other national occupational therapy organizations support, that the TRC be the topic for the 2017 Reflection Day*; ACOTRO recommends that all board members and key staff with the five national organizations join the session rather than just a select 5 from each organization.
Beginning conversation regarding the TRC Calls to Action at the April 2016 ACOTRO Board meeting with recognition of relevant TRC Calls to Action and other key issues requiring potential regulatory involvement such as collecting relevant registrant data.
*The OT Reflection Day is an annual event that brings together representatives of the 5 national occupational therapy organizations: the Alliance of Canadian Occupational Therapy Professional Associations (ACOTPA), Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy Regulatory Organizations (ACOTRO), Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs (ACOTUP), Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) and Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation (COTF).
The Reflection Day promotes education, collective deliberations and reflection, and plans for collective and individual organization action.
ACOTRO’s role is to support its members towards excellence in regulation. Its respective members’ mandates and jurisdictions are provincially based.
Some of the ACOTRO member organizations (i.e., the provincial regulators) have described their local efforts on their websites. You are encouraged to visit these college specific websites.
Alberta College of Occupational Therapists
College of Occupational Therapists of BC
College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists has provided a page with a great number of resources to support your own learning about making your practice more culturally safe.
May 17, 2022