Centering Indigenous voices in CSHP's advocacy work

July 05, 2021


Content note: This article contains references to genocide, systemic racism, and residential schools.   

The recent discoveries of nearly 1,000 bodies of children in unmarked graves at two former residential schools have shaken Canadians and laid bare the foundation of crimes the country was built on. As individuals, we must face these atrocities, recognize that their legacy continues today, and denounce the injustice. Above all, we must stand with Indigenous peoples to end the ongoing abuse, discrimination, and colonization. 

As a professional association, how can CSHP stand up against injustice and work towards reconciliation in healthcare? Our community must acknowledge and understand the historic complicity of healthcare systems. In Canada, Indigenous communities, including children in residential schools, were subjected to unethical medical experiments and testing for drugs and vaccines. This colonial legacy lives on: As recently as 2017, Indigenous women report being coerced into sterilization procedures, and in 2020, Joyce Echaquan died in hospital after filming staff’s racist abuse.  

CSHP must do its part to dismantle systemic injustice in healthcare, and the voices and leadership of Indigenous members must be centered and amplified in these efforts. Members are invited to shape CSHP’s next steps, which include creating land acknowledgement guidelines and resources for the Society, and joining with other healthcare organizations to end the use of the racist term “Red Man Syndrome.” We also invite members to share areas of advocacy in which you’d like to see CSHP become more involved.

When joining CSHP, you can opt to indicate whether you identify as part of an equity-seeking group. Members who have self-identified as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit will hear from us via email to seek your views on CSHP's next steps and your views on how the Society can best create a space to amplify Indigenous voices. You can check your CSHP member profile by logging into the Member Center at You can also email us your interest in getting involved at