Health Minister Julie Green announced this week new measures to combat systemic racism in the healthcare system towards Indigenous people in the NWT.
Green recently attended a meeting of National Dialogue on Anti-Indigenous Racism in Healthcare, along with representatives from the federal government and other provincial and Indigenous governments
“The issue of anti-Indigenous racism in our healthcare system has been around for as long the territorial government has provided healthcare to residents,” she said in a statement.
““We are committed to building a workforce that represents the people we serve,” she added. It is critically important for Indigenous people to be represented in adequate numbers across the healthcare system, beginning in post-secondary health education among staff and faculty positions that are not specifically attached to an Indigenous office or mandate.
Green added Indigenous people often have challenges navigating the complex logistical hurdles the healthcare system can throw up.
As a solution, Green said building a more diverse workforce, hiring new Indigenous care advocates and establishing an Indigenous Advisory Board to tackle issues in the healthcare system.
Green pointed to programs like Aurora College’s nursing program as a means to have more Indigenous trained healthcare professionals in the NWT’s healthcare system.
“Progress is being made toward the elimination of anti-Indigenous racism in the NWT healthcare system,” said Green. “We have work to do to achieve the national standards being discussed, and the GNWT is committed to doing the work and to meeting and exceeding those standards.”