Creating Indigenous healing spaces at HHS – Hamilton Health Sciences

Hamilton sits on the traditional territory of the Mississauga, Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe and within the lands protected by the Dish with One Spoon wampum agreement. At Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), we are privileged to provide care on lands that Indigenous peoples have called home for thousands of years. We recognize and respect the presence and stewardship of all Indigenous peoples as keepers of this land.

Cultural safety should be the goal of an inclusive, equitable health-care system. Indigenous people, however, continue to experience racism, discrimination and culturally unsafe care within health-care settings. In Ontario, there is legislation that protects and permits the practice of Indigenous ceremonies, including in health-care settings; however, accessing ceremonial practices while receiving health care is a common barrier. To date, HHS has not had a dedicated space at each of our five hospital sites for Indigenous peoples to gather, take respite, and engage in traditional healing practices. This is changing.

“In response to the voices of our community members and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action for Healthcare, we are happy to share that together with Indigenous partners, HHS is developing dedicated Indigenous healing spaces across all of our hospital sites,” says Kelly Campbell, Vice-President, Corporate Services and Capital Development. “These are intended to be safe spaces where Indigenous staff, patients and family members can experience peace, ceremonial healing and comfort while at HHS.”

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