Events across the country and the world continue to confirm health inequities at the intersections of race, colourism, indigeneity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, class, geography & etc. are still ongoing (Lopez & Gasdsen 2016). These inequities are also at play in environmental struggles and the climate crisis (i.e. UN 2019). We believe that as nurses concerned about our environment, we are called to learn and act to reduce these inequities (i.e. Astle et al. 2019). Our vision is one of planetary health equity.
In the fall of 2019, CANE reviewed our Constitution to add to our organization’s objectives the adoption of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, as well as an active stance of intersectionality in our work.
In this spirit, we offer below some great resources to learn about intersectionality and the Calls of Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; how it applies to nursing and the environment; and how we are bringing this into CANE.
Intersectionality and social justice in nursing apply to many communities and lived experiences.
As we begin this work we have been drawn to look into racial justice, indigenization and decolonization, and the resources we share reflect this.
If you are pulled to address other aspects of social justice, and how this connects to environment/planetary health and nursing, please reach out and join us! We are aware there is much yet to cover, from migrant workers, migrant justice, to class, to 2SLGBTQQIA+, to Persons Who Use Substances (PWUS) perspectives, to disability justice, and so much more.
We seek to create awareness and provide education from a diversity of lived experiences of being in – fighting for – connecting the dots between the health of the ecosystems we/they are in, and what is needed for the health of both communities and these ecosystems.
As we learn, we are amazed to see the strength of individuals, groups and communities in fighting for this healthy future.
This CANE Webinar presents a conversation with Sandlanee Gid and Marilyne Tovar on April 20, 2021. Environmental racism is a reality for many across Canada. This webinar provided nurses with information about environmental justice and racism in Canada, shared the realities of a few impacted communities, and spoke to actions we can take to address these inequalities.
“It’s the most transformative liberating work you could ever do.”
– Robin Di Angelo speaking of the value of doing the work not to collude with white supremacy as a White person, discussing with Layla F. Saad on Episode 011 of Good Ancestor Podcast
CANE is committed to adopting the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in our work. We know that it is genocide and systemic racism that still to this day maintains an oppression of Indigenous peoples of this land and that as nurses we need to do work at all scales from personal to political to transform our society and stop the harm.
We have identified the Call to Action 23 and the Call to Action 24 as the first to begin fulfilling within our organization.
Specifically, we identify:
TRC Call to Action 23 iii. “To provide cultural competency training for all healthcare professionals.”
CANE understands the importance of cultural competency and safety training. Most nursing schools and health care institutions in Canada ascertain that nurses receive such training, though there is variation in depth and content. Yet, initial training is only one step on a journey of reflective practice, curious learning, self-examination, continued education, action and advocacy to confront racism in our persons, our communities, and our systems.
To help foster more reflection and the continuation of our cultural humility and safety work, we hope to offer reflective book clubs. Our first book club was on Layla F. Saad’s book “Me & White Supremacy.
TRC Call to Action 24: ” We call upon medical and nursing schools in Canada to require all students to take a course dealing with Aboriginal health issues, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, and Indigenous teachings and practices. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”
The CANE Board is planning to connect with our faculties and alma mater in this regard. Stay posted, more will be coming in this regards.
Have you any experience in integrating the TRC Calls to Action in your life, your work or organizations ? We would love to hear, and share, your stories. Please reach out via our Contact Page.