This caucus was established to provide a safe space for union members who identify as aboriginal to address the historic and systemic discrimination faced by First Nations, Inuit and Metis People.
Contact the chair of this caucus: firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Nations, Inuit and Metis people of Canada experience enormous social, economic, political and cultural challenges as they struggle to overcome the abiding legacies of colonialism, racialization and a political process that has done precious little to substantively address their needs. As a consequence of these systemic inequalities the health and well-being of Aboriginal Peoples has been, and continues to be, profoundly compromised.
The Aboriginal Leadership Circle recognizes that reversing this appalling legacy requires a sustained effort on the part of many – but that it is the Aboriginal Peoples themselves who must lead the way forward.
Addressing health inequalities for Aboriginal Peoples is not merely a matter of funding more health care resources but also about ensuring that the social determinants of health (like housing, education, food and water security) are provided for. In addition, the delivery of health care and the provision of the key social determinants of health should be undertaken in a way that is respectful of the cultural needs of Aboriginal Peoples.
The Aboriginal Leadership Circle recognizes that the delivery of culturally competent health care is best done by Aboriginal Health Care Professionals. Aboriginal youth constitute one of the fastest growing populations in Canada and there is broad recognition amongst demographers that Aboriginal Peoples constitute an immensely valuable human resource – one that can serve to fill the many future health care jobs as our aging workforce begins to retire.
Founded on the principles of respect, communication, inclusivity and indigenous knowledge the Aboriginal Leadership Circle is committed to working within BCNU to improve the health and well being of all Aboriginal Peoples.
The Aboriginal Leadership Circle meets twice a year. At these meetings regional caucus representatives gather to discuss ways of enhancing the role of Aboriginal members within the union and how best to connect the work the union does to the concerns and needs of Aboriginal communities around the province. These meetings are attended by one caucus representative from each BCNU region, along with a BCNU council liason and BCNU’s diversity officer. Regional caucus representatives provide reports on regional issues and carry back to their regions the energy and ideas from the caucus meetings – with the ultimate goal of establishing an Aboriginal Leadership Circle in every region of the province.
The Aboriginal Leadership Circle develops strategies to encourage Aboriginal people to consider health care careers and to raise awareness among, and develop strategies with, health care professionals on ways to cultivate cultural competencies and foster cultural safety when working with Aboriginal clients.
In addition The Aboriginal Leadership Circle works with the elected leadership of BCNU to lobby governments at all levels to address systemic inequalities.
More recently the Aboriginal Leadership Circle has been working with BCNU on developing strategies to enhance the voice and participation of nurses in determining the future of First Nations health care provision in BC.
The Aboriginal Leadership Circle actively seeks out opportunities to work with BCNU’s other human rights caucuses.
One member from each region serves in the role of regional representative to this caucus, linking their region to others through this vehicle. Other members who identify with or have an interest in this caucus group can request to be placed on the caucus network. In doing so you will be kept in the loop about caucus activities and regional events that are focused on human rights and equity. To join the network, email us your address.
Caucuses & Networks
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