“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

A B.C. First Nations Tribal Council wants the creation of a task force to improve health care for Indigenous people in northern British Columbia.

“I was overwhelmed with sadness that these types of treatment of Indigenous people continues today,” Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) Chief Mina Holmes said of video showing a dying Indigenous woman being taunted by health care workers at a Quebec hospital.

“I was absolutely horrified and I think that is the general response to the video and story of Joyce and what happened to her.”

A Hamilton task force addressing racism was established nearly three weeks after nationwide outrage ensued following the death of Joyce Echaquan.

In an Oct. 21 open letter to Canada’s Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, CSTC said Indigenous people living on and reserve in northern B.C. constantly face the same kind of racism and cruelty as has Echaquan.

“I feel that people of color, visible minorities, such as First Nations people, in particular are significantly over-represented in the discrimination in the health care system as well as other systems,” Holmes said.

Pointing to the Lejac (Fraser Lake) Residential School that operated from 1922 to 1976, Holmes said many generations had attended the facility in which many medical nightmares and unethical practices took place as well at the nearby hospital.

While an independent investigation by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond will release its findings into allegations of racism in B.C’s health care system before the end of this year, Holmes maintains an Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. cannot wait.

Read More: Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

“These recommendations will also take time, and we’re not sure how enforceable they will be.”

Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada declined comment.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsHealthracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

Black Press file photo
Moose hit on Hwy 37 S

The collision happened Saturday (Nov. 21) and three people were taken to hospital

<em>Pixabay</em>
All I want for Christmas is…food!

The Kitimat Northern Sentinel wants to publish your holiday recipes

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor recieves prestigeous conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)
UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

Most Read