Cultural Safety – What is it?
Cultural safety involves reorienting the training of health professionals, incorporating ethnic/cultural sensitivity and cultural competence; and, importantly, promotes a critical understanding of colonial structures and their impact on current health care practices and their consequences for First Nation, Inuit, Métis, Urban Aboriginal community members.
As a collaborative, participatory, and community-based program, we are committed to the active engagement of members of the urban Aboriginal community and their institutions. As a project undertaken with Aboriginal communities, we are also committed to the active engagement of members of the urban Aboriginal community and their institutions. We are also committed to adopting, as appropriate, Indigenous methodologies.
The key objectives of the research project are:
- To work with First Nation, Inuit, Métis, Urban Aboriginal community members and Interior Health to assess current practices for cultural safety, both generally on a system-wide basis and in two specific sites managed by Interior Health;
- To work with First Nation, Inuit, Métis, Urban Aboriginal community members and Interior Health to develop cultural safety programs fostering new practices in these two sites managed by Interior Health;
- To then re-assess the efficacy of these innovations in improving health outcomes for First Nation, Inuit, Métis, Urban Aboriginal community members in the valley; and,
- To refine these cultural safety programs, develop a model of best practices arising from out collective experiences making them ‘portable’ for export to other health care settings and Aboriginal communities in Canada.
By understanding my own and their culture and how to operate within that culture provides this base from which it is more sensible and often easier to reflect upon the cultural safety of others.