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CSHBC adopts Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, & Anti-Racism Standard of Practice

The College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC is pleased to share that 11 BC health profession regulatory colleges, including CSHBC, have adopted a Standard of Practice for Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, & Anti-Racism.

The Standard of Practice supports the goals of eliminating Indigenous-specific racism and fostering culturally safe practice in BC’s health care system. The standard acknowledges that Indigenous-specific racism exists in health care and sets clear expectations for Registered Audiologists (RAUDs), Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIPs), and Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs) to provide culturally safe and anti-racist care to BC’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

CSHBC and the 10 other colleges who have adopted this Standard of Practice are marking the launch of the standard with a ceremony on September 30, 2022, as part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Development of the standard

In November 2020, the In Plain Sight report (PDF) by Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond was published. The report found widespread systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in the BC health care system that Indigenous communities in this province have long reported experiencing. It also found that requirements for cultural safety and humility and addressing Indigenous-specific racism were not adequately embedded throughout policy and standards. The report recommended that

“All health policy-makers, health authorities, health regulatory bodies, health organizations, health facilities, patient care quality review boards and health education programs in B.C. adopt an accreditation standard for achieving Indigenous cultural safety through cultural humility and eliminating Indigenous-specific racism that has been developed in collaboration and cooperation with Indigenous peoples.”

The BC College of Nurses & Midwives (BCCNM) and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) collaboratively developed and launched an Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, & Anti-Racism Standard of Practice in February 2022. Development of the BCCNM and CPSBC standard included engagement and consultation with Indigenous registrants, Indigenous members of the public, and Indigenous partners and organizations such as the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA).

Between January 2022 and September 2022, 11 other BC health profession regulatory colleges met to follow up on their commitments to address Indigenous-specific racism in health care and move forward with developing a Standard of Practice on Indigenous cultural safety, cultural humility, and anti-racism to guide registrants of their colleges. The colleges pledged to collaborate with each other to promote consistency, as recommended in the In Plain Sight report. Building on the work of BCCNM and CPSBC, the 11 colleges adapted and approved the Standard of Practice for Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, & Anti-Racism (PDF).

This collaborative work was guided by Sulksun (Shane Pointe), proud member of the Coast Salish Nation and the Musqueam Indian Band, and Knowledge Keeper to all, and Joe Gallagher (k’wunəmɛn) of Tla’amin Nation, Principal at Qoqoq Consulting Ltd.

Words from the Knowledge Keeper regarding this work

“I heard the words of the Hon. Dr. M.E. Turpel-Lafond as did you the luminaries of the universe of health here in British Columbia. I have also witnessed you launch your collective canoe into an ocean of troubled waters with both courage and strength of heart, to bring into balance health care equity for the 150,000 First Nations People and the Citizens of British Columbia who live on our Ancestral Lands. You are doing this by addressing and alleviating the systemic racism within the health care system.

I am proud of you for your industry in this most important history making task and look forward to supporting into the future.”

— Sulksun (Shane Pointe), Musqueam Nation

Participating colleges

The BC health profession regulatory colleges who have adopted the Standard of Practice for Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, & Anti-Racism regulate more than 28,000 registrants. The colleges include: the College of Chiropractors of BC, the College of Dietitians of BC, the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC, the College of Occupational Therapists of BC, the College of Opticians of BC, the College of Optometrists of BC, the College of Pharmacists of BC, the College of Psychologists of BC, the College of Physical Therapists of BC, the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC, and the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC.

Questions and answers about the Standard of Practice

Is the standard applicable to all CSHBC registrants, regardless of where they work?

Yes, the standard is applicable to all registrants, regardless of their workplace or area of practice.

Why are BC health profession regulatory colleges focusing on Indigenous-specific racism when there are broader issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity that should be addressed?

The publication of the In Plain Sight report (PDF) and its findings of widespread, systemic, Indigenous-specific racism created urgency around the need to address the inequity Indigenous people are facing in the BC health care system. The colleges adopting the new Standard of Practice for Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, & Anti-Racism (PDF) believe the standard will contribute to improving cultural safety in health care for Indigenous clients and patients, and also for other groups of people who have experienced racism, discrimination, and culturally unsafe care.

The standard is also in line with the provincial government’s work to reform health profession regulation (PDF) in BC, including a commitment to ensure that cultural safety and humility are embedded in regulatory modernization.

CSHBC is considering a broader review of the College’s professional and clinical practice standards. Future work would, in part, look to build upon the work on the new standard and enhance guidance for RAUDs, RHIPs, and RSLPs. Such a review would aim to benefit all groups of people who have experienced racism, discrimination, and culturally unsafe care.

For more information

See the CSHBC Cultural Safety & Humility page.

If you have questions and/or feedback, please contact the CSHBC Quality Assurance & Professional Practice team at [email protected].

College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia

Address:
900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1S4

Phone: 604.742.6380
Toll-free: 1.888.742.6380
Email: [email protected]