The idea of putting education into the hands of the viewers is extraordinarily important to Making Treaty 7, and it turns out, it became an educational journey for our social media director, Ayla Coltman.
The Truth & Reconciliation Act has been around for years, and do you know how many of the 94 calls to action are completed? Have you ever seen WHICH of these acts has been completed? You would be shocked to see the statistics, and the lack of education about how WE, as a community and a Country, can commit to the reconciliation of Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
Reconciliation Act # 19 & 22
Now let’s talk about two specific calls to action that are relevant to the times we currently live in, and what we took away from gaining knowledge about these Acts of Truth and Reconciliation.
The Good, The Bad, & The Gaps in Indigenous Health Care
My initial conversation began with our Artistic Associate, Liz Breaker-Ferguson. Our task was to create a challenge for Making Treaty 7’s social media viewers by placing the education about The Truth & Reconciliation Act into the followers’ hands. We want to encourage our social media followers to seek their own knowledge and educate themselves about how they can be part of the movement of completing more of these Calls to Action.
Being that we are currently living through unchartered territory with the COVID-19 pandemic, what better moment to talk about our health care system! So our search began through the Calls to Action to speak the truth about the issues our Indigenous Communities face with bridging the gaps and providing Indigenous Healing Practices off Reserve to ALL Indigenous people.
Let’s begin our conversation about Reconciliation Act #19 -.”…bridging the Gaps in Indigenous Health Care Services” both on and off reserve. Take a moment to think about what health care services are easily accessible from your home. Do you have a dentist’s office nearby? Do you have a massage or physiotherapy clinic? Does your community have a walk-in clinic? Does your community have urgent care or a hospital within close proximity? Many people would answer yes to a lot of these questions. But our Indigenous communities do not have all these resources available to them on reserve. If a band member needed to see an optometrist, it would involve a long commute off reserve to have a basic eye exam completed. If every community in Calgary, for example, has at least 2 or more of these services, why doesn’t our Indigenous community? Our mission is to raise awareness of this issue and generate a conversation in order to make the positive changes that NEED to be made for these communities. EVERYONE deserves accessibility to ALL health care services. It is time to bridge the gaps in our health care system and create an equal and harmonious system that compliments us all. Of course, we understand that there are gaps in the health care systems worldwide, and we want to acknowledge that it is a basic human right to have access to all health care services no matter where you are in the world. How do we start to make the changes necessary? Share your thoughts.
Cedar, Sage, Tobacco, and Sweet Grass: Back to Basics.
The next topic is one that was most educational to me. During my conversation with Liz about these Calls to Action, she mentioned the Indigenous Healing Practices that were offered from a clinic in downtown Calgary.
I honestly didn’t even know that there were Indigenous Healing Practices available to anyone, anywhere! It was extremely eye-opening to the lack of information being provided TO and BY our medical practitioners. I wish I would have known about these services a long time ago. Sometimes, Western medicine cannot give you the spiritual healing someone is looking for.
Reconciliation Act #22 speaks mostly about implementing Indigenous Healing Practices into our Western Health Care System. Currently, there is education online that speaks about this call to action and its’ progress. The article posted by CBC, mentions that Call to Action #22 has been actioned by including Indigenous Health in the education curriculum for all medical practitioners. But what exactly is the training they are provided? Are they being educated on the traditional Indigenous medicines and how they work? Are they being educated on the resources available to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada off reserve? Are our medical practitioners aware of an Elder circle that is available off reserve to their Indigenous patients?
To our surprise, it was utterly shocking to see how few resources there were online about any available options for Indigenous Healing Practices, and where they could be accessed.
I searched and searched all different long and short tail keywords to find anything and everything I could about Indigenous Healing Practices and Traditional Indigenous medicines in Canada. The only things I came across were information about what these terms were and what they meant to our Indigenous communities, but not WHERE to find them and HOW to access them. That took a more detailed search to dig up.
In order to start making the change to this issue, our executive director, Neil Fleming thought what better way to start the conversation than to create searchable resources using a blog? SO here we are, sharing the knowledge we have found with you all so that you may have the ability to utilize these practices. Below, you will see a few links to resources available by Alberta Health Services, and also a link giving resources to communities across Canada. If you happen to know of other possible resources for Indigenous Medicine Practices and want to share, please send us a message.
Our goal in starting this conversation is to begin the movement of completing these Calls to Action and creating a resource of Indigenous-led education. We believe that it should be up to our fellow Indigenous and Settler People to educate themselves.
How can YOU be part of the change?
Start a conversation.
Educate yourself on the acts of Truth and Reconciliation.
Ask for more information.
Challenge yourself to cause a chain reaction.
Do your part to raise awareness.