Reflections on the Path to Reconciliation
In 2022, we made important progress on our commitment to act as a humble and respectful coparticipant in reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Motivated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, we pursued greater understanding of our role in the harmful practices of colonialization and perpetuation of health inequities.
Settler Initiatives was an internal project that sought to help CADTH understand our past efforts in this space and identify cultural awareness needs for our staff. The project also delivered recommendations and a roadmap to help us move forward.
CADTH also established a partnership with pipikwan pêhtâkwan, an Indigenous-led, owned, and majority-staffed consulting agency that is focused on elevating Indigenous voices, projects, and issues. In collaboration with pipikwan pêhtâkwan we codeveloped an organizational land acknowledgement and a statement of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, communities, organizations, and governments. The statement acknowledges the historical and ongoing ways Indigenous Peoples and communities have been harmed by racism and prejudice in the health care system. It also affirms CADTH’s commitment to reconciliation and to our role as an advocate, amplifier, and ally to Indigenous Peoples, communities, organizations, and governments in Canada.
A natural next step is the development of an Indigenous relations and engagement strategy to build authentic and equitable relationships that will help us incorporate Indigenous knowledge systems into our work. Learnings from our meeting with Indigenous health leaders, held in March 2023, provided important preliminary guidance on how we can engage in reconciliation efforts and begin to adapt our processes and approaches to include Indigenous perspectives and voices.
An Inclusive Workplace
Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) together make up 1 of CADTH’s 6 guiding principles. We are committed to applying a lens of equity and inclusiveness to our work, fostering health systems that reflect the diverse people of Canada, and responding to the self-identified priorities and culture practices of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.
To continue to support our IDEA initiatives, we initiated recruitment efforts for 2 key positions within the organization that will bring new voices to our table — a Strategic Partner for Indigenous Relations and Engagement and a Strategic Partner for IDEA. These roles are critical to driving the integration of IDEA principles across CADTH to enhance the work we do and better serve the people and organizations who rely on that work. CADTH recognizes that these long-term initiatives require care, focus, and commitment, and with the addition of these new roles in 2023, CADTH will continue to prioritize these efforts and accelerate change.