BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

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Cultural Safety & Humility

The Declaration of Commitment

In July, 2015, the CEOs of every BC Health Authority signed a declaration to demonstrate their commitment to advancing cultural humility and cultural safety within health services.

This Declaration of Commitment is based on the following guiding principles of cultural safety and humility:

Cultural humility builds mutual trust and respect and enables cultural safety.

Cultural safety is defined by each individual client’s health service experience.

Cultural safety must be understood, embraced and practiced at all levels of the health system including governance, health organizations and within individual professional practice.

All partners, including First Nations and Aboriginal individuals, Elders, families, communities, and Nations must be involved in co-development of action strategies and in the decision-making process with a commitment to reciprocal accountability.

When health care professionals engage with First Nations peoples from a place of cultural humility, they are helping to create a safer health care environment where individuals and families feel respected. First Nations peoples are therefore more likely to access care when they need it and access care that is appropriate to their wellness beliefs, goals and needs.

Cultural humility is a life-long process of self-reflection and self-critique to understand personal biases and to develop and maintain mutually respectful partnerships based on mutual trust. Health care providers are not expected to be cultural experts for all First Nations and Aboriginal peoples. Exercising humility is about being open to learning and comfortable starting with what we don’t know.

Cultural safety includes an understanding of what health and wellness means to First Nations. The First Nations Perspective on Health and Wellness articulates a holistic vision of wellness. First Nations recognize that good health and wellness starts with every human being and extends outward to include broader social, economic, cultural and environmental determinants of health and wellness.

To learn more about cultural humility and cultural safety, download the Creating a Climate fo​r Change​​ Resource Booklet.

Pledge Your Commitment to Cultural Humility

Creating a culturally safe health care system requires the participation and commitment of every person in BC.

The First Nations Health Authority have launched a movement for cultural humility in the BC health system. Anyone can make a pledge affirming their commitment to cultural humility, and sharing their vision for a culturally safe health care system.

To join the movement, and help  socialize and promote cultural safety and humility:pledge card

  1. Download a pledge car​d here!​
  2. Print the card
  3. Write your commitment or vision
  4. Snap a pic & share it on social media
  5. Include the hashtag #itstartswithme​​