We grieve over the unearthing of the remains of children on the site of former residential school. Although we feel rage, sadness, and - those of us who benefit from colonialism - guilt, we don't feel surprise. The trauma of the genocide inflicted on the people of Turtle Island by European imperialists continues today. It is not enough to lower flags, or place shoes or teddy bears in memorial. As healthcare providers, we have a responsibility to directly advocate for determinants of individual and community health. This includes learning from Indigenous knowledge systems and advocating for reparations.
As naturopathic doctors, we have an imperative to ensure our services are accessible to the original stewards of the land on which we work. As a profession who benefits from Indigenous knowledge systems, we have a deep debt to pay, which can start with meaningfully integrating Indigenous ways of knowing into our training, and appropriately honouring the origins of the medicines we use. As advocates of treating the whole, we must also advocate for urgent action on the part of the Canadian government on all of the TRC calls to action.
We invite you to disseminate this letter (link here) to Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous-Crown Relations. We also invite you to read the 96 calls to action (link here), and choose one or more on which you can enact meaningfully in your own life.