Key Learnings from a Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Webinar

Yesterday, on September 6, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council hosted a webinar in their Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Series. It was the ninth webinar in their year-long webinar action series with the First Nations Health Authority, and the topic of the webinar was Cultural Safety Frameworks.

With more than 140 attendees to the webinar, Leslie Bonshor, a member of Tzeachten First Nation and the Aboriginal Health Executive Advisor at Vancouver Coastal Health, has clearly addressed a topic that is of great interest to many working in healthcare today. The webinar tackles the theme of turning commitment into action, or the “how-to” of cultural safety.

Cultural safety based on the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) is: “a strategic and intensely practical plan to change the way healthcare is delivered to Aboriginal people. In particular, the concept is used to express an approach to healthcare that recognizes the contemporary conditions of Aboriginal people which result from their post-contact history.”

Leslie’s overall key message is around intention, as taught by her Elders. The focus in our work needs to be on “what is your intention and then let the work flow from that.”

The five big take-aways from the webinar include:

  1. Building relationships so that cultural safety is everyone’s job; addressing cultural safety needs to be a system-wide approach.
  2. Leveraging communications, promotion and on-going education so that champions are publicly celebrated and can continue to learn.
  3. Supporting Indigenous people with storytelling; the storytelling can be done by Elders so that we can learn from the past, or it can be done by patients so we can understand the patients’ story and how our delivery of care is improving (or not).
  4. Recognizing that no matter what role you play in the health care system you have an important role to play and you can start by bringing a decolonization lens to every interaction, meeting, engagement, project or case you are working on. You are the change.
  5. Always come with intention. Know what is sought to be achieved and do not necessarily be committed to how it is going to be achieved.

To listen to the webinar or to join the next webinar – on October 4, visit BCPSQC’s Events page.