Speaker Addresses Racism in the BC Health-care Sector

Engaged Citizens Speaker Series logo

February 3, 2021 - 3:45pm

WHAT: VIU’s Engaged Citizens Speaker Series

WHEN: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 6:30 – 8 pm

WHERE: Zoom webinar


Join Dawn Thomas Aa ap waa iik, Associate Deputy Minister for Indigenous Health with the BC Ministry of Health, who will be presenting An Island Response to In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A with Ms. Thomas.

After hearing reports of Indigenous-specific racism in emergency departments in BC, Health Minister Adrian Dix appointed independent investigator Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to lead an investigation into these allegations, situated and examined within a broader context of Indigenous-specific racism in the provincial health care system. On November 30, 2020, the In Plain Sight report was released. The report found that Indigenous peoples in BC are exposed to widespread racism that often results in negative experiences at the point of care, inequitable medical treatment, physical harm and even death. 

In her talk, Thomas will highlight some of the 24 recommendations made in the report to address systemic racism in the health-care sector, share some of her own experiences with the health-care system as well as a recent, local example – the COVID-19 outbreak at Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo – and discuss some interventions and strategies that have been effective in the Island Health region.

The Engaged Citizens Speaker Series launched in Fall 2019 with the goal of encouraging “intellectual, engaging and meaningful dialogue about social challenges, opportunities and the community around us while advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.” This edition is presented as part of VIU’s annual celebration of Global Citizens Week. Please register for this free event on Zoom webinar, and check out the full Global Citizens Week schedule. 



Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Advisor, Vancouver Island University

C:  250.619.6860 | E: jenn.mcgarrigle@viu.ca

Tags: Community Engagement | Announcements

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