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Share Your Story

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The Need

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Share the experiences of Indigenous people who sought health care services in the Champlain Region to illustrate and highlight deeply embedded racist and stereotypical attitudes in Ontario’s health care system.  

What We Did 

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The OAC in partnership with the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health launched a Share Your Story research project, entitled Indigenous-Specific Racism & Discrimination in Health Care Across the Champlain Region. The culmination of five years of research, the Ottawa Public Health-funded Wabano/Coalition report interweaves the personal stories with the history and impacts of settler-colonialism policies and practices. The report concludes with a fulsome set of 27 recommendations clustered into seven themes, with additional recommendations within each theme.

The OAC wishes to acknowledge the Indigenous people who live, work, and receive health care on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin/Anishnaabe and Ongwehonwe. We know that in health care, many of you have not received the kind, competent care that is considered a human right in this country. Our hope is that the stories shared through this report are creating a new legacy for the generations yet to come. 

Chi miigwetch

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Project Timeline

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What We Did

In 2018 the Share Your Story Project (SYS) was launched to uncover local stories of Indigenous-specific racism in health care that occurred across the Champlain region. Our hope was that through these stories, health care organizations could begin generating local solutions that would build Indigenous confidence in the health care sector.

200+ Stories

From November 2018 to April 2019 200+ individuals engaged in the SYS project to share their personal experiences or those they witnessed across the Champlain region. Most participants were Indigenous, some were non-Indigenous health professionals or family members who witnessed racist or discriminatory practices, and some participants shared more than one story. 

What We Heard

Of the 315 stories of anti-Indigenous racism collected in late 2018 and early 2019, the stories of racism were further validated and 91% were rated by Wabano’s research interviewers as clear case of anti-Indigenous racism based on criteria they developed. The participants themselves believe that negative stereotypes about Indigenous peoples shape how health service providers treat them.

Where We Are Now

On May 24, 2022 the comprehensive report was released. The OAC and Wabano called on the leaders of each political party in the 2022 Ontario general election to sign a declaration to end racism in the health care system as a top priority. Only the leader of the Liberal Party, Steven Del Duca was prepared to act and signed the declaration. 

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