Wednesday, May 4, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta visited Siksika Nation for a historic meeting with Siksika Nation and Siksika Health Services leadership, to expand upon their growing partnership, discuss potential solutions related to discrimination in healthcare, and share stories of lived experiences of racism and discrimination.
Who: College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Council & Staff
Siksika Nation Leadership: Chief Ouray Crowfoot & Council Representatives
Siksika Health Services Leadership: CEO, Dr. Tyler White & Team Leads
What: Inaugural visit of College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta to a First Nation
When: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Where: Siksika Piiksapi Memorial Arbor, Siksika First Nation
Address: Highway 901, Siksika Nation, Alberta
GPS: 50.849562684859876, -113.11434868405672
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) is on a journey of increasing their awareness and learning about Truth and Reconciliation in an effort to create culturally safe care spaces and improve health outcomes for Indigenous peoples. CPSA has been intentional about connecting with influential Indigenous physicians and community leaders that they can learn from and partner with as they build a framework together to promote culturally competent care across the province of Alberta.
In 2021 the CPSA welcomed Dr. Tyler White, Siksika Health Services’ CEO to the CPSA Council as an appointed public member. CPSA Council is comprised of elected regulated members and appointed public members. In 2021, the Albertan voice became more prominent on CPSA Council, as they moved to an equal composition of elected regulated members and appointed public members.
On May 3, 2022, Siksika Health Services (SHS) hosted CPSA in a day of culture sharing and the continued effort to lay down the foundation of a long relationship that hopes to build our healthcare system for all. The day featured stories and presentations from SHS, Siksika Chief & Council, and CPSA delegates. Anti-Indigenous racism, Siksika’s COVID-19 response, and potential solutions around discrimination in healthcare served as working themes.
The day wrapped with CPSA members touring Siksika Nation’s Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park.
“CPSA is humbled and honoured to be invited to Siksika Nation today. This special gathering will further strengthen our relationship with Siksika Health Services, and we look forward to learning from the experience to enhance equity in health care.” ~ Stacey Strilchuk, CPSA Council President
“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in this very special and meaningful day. Our goal at CPSA is not just to listen, but to take action and hold ourselves accountable for our past and present role in addressing racism and discrimination in our healthcare system.” ~ Scott McLeod, CPSA Registrar
“We’re not looking for special treatment, we’re just looking for equitable treatment.” ~ Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation
“Who is being held accountable? Who will stand up for those who are being victimized? For those who are being mistreated? The answer is us. Siksika Nation.” ~ Councillor Sam Crowfoot on Indigenous peoples’ healthcare
In the coming months, CPSA and Siksika Health Services will continue to work together towards addressing and eliminating systemic racism within the healthcare system in Alberta, where it exists, and ensuring that Siksika members and all Indigenous peoples are provided culturally safe healthcare services.
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For information contact:
Ryan Running Rabbit
Communications, Siksika Health Services
Acting Director of Communications,
College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
Reflections on the Every Child Matters Game ‘Orange Shirt’
By Siksika Health Services Staff
On March 27th, 2022, Siksika Health Services and The Calgary Hitmen came together to host the 2nd Every Child Matters theme game, and the Saddledome was filled with orange shirts, hoodies, and jerseys.
Now like anything, there is a story behind all of this, many, all woven together to bring magic and awareness to the event and cause. The orange “shirt” that the Calgary Hitmen players and hundreds of fans donned was bred from 12 original concepts all based on the famous orange shirt. This jersey was created by Jacob Alexis and Richard Running Rabbit and features Blackfoot artwork and the phrase “Every Child Matters”.
“It’s like when you see dancers coming in for [a powwow] grand entry: the style, the boldness. Everything is placed just so,” Alexis speaks about his creation of the jersey. A truly special opportunity for artists to bring awareness to the cause and origin of orange shirt day.
“It’s surreal, I never thought the orange shirt movement would be what it is now,” remarked Phyllis Webstad when asked her thoughts at the pre-game press conference. None of this would be possible without Webstad and the Orange Shirt Society if she didn’t have the courage to tell her story countless times. “Orange Shirt Day was created to have conversations about all aspects of residential schools,” she said.
It is hard to look at the jersey and full kit and not feel something. The partnership between Siksika Health Services and The Calgary Hitmen has always been for everyone. “I’m so proud of the jersey and what the game has turned into, all aspects, I always say it’s more than just a hockey game,” Siksika Health CEO, Dr. Tyler White.
Where you can get a jersey
Jerseys can be ordered at the Calgary Hitmen store online (link: https://www.flamesport.com/collections/all-hitmen/products/hitmen-every-child-matters-jersey) and game worn jerseys are up for auction.
A portion of all proceeds from jersey sales will go towards supporting minor sports on Siksika Nation.
Orange Shirt Day
“I remember going to Robinson’s store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had string laced up in front, and was so bright and exciting – just like I felt to be going to school! When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt! I never wore it again. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me, it was mine! Orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying, and no one cared” – Phyllis Webstad on her first day experience at residential school.
The legacy of the orange shirt is about generating awareness, and keeping the conversation going. We invite you to join us in continuing the conversation, awareness, and education about Orange Shirt Day and it’s important meaning to Indigenous peoples in Canada, and all people.