Hello. I'm Ron Gagnon, President and CEO of Grand River Hospital.
September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is an important day for us to pause, reflect and honour the children lost and the survivors of the residential school system. It is also a day for us to reflect on health care’s responsibility to acknowledge the truth about the history and ongoing impact of the residential system and our role in working towards reconciliation.
The residential system is a horrific part of Canada’s history. The atrocities move beyond residential schools and Indian hospitals which played a significant role in segregating children from their families and the removal of the identities of the Indigenous peoples. Hospitals and health care also played an active role in harming Indigenous children and their communities.
As dedicated health care professionals, it is important for us to acknowledge this history.
Indigenous peoples are living not only with the effects of these atrocities and the resulting intergenerational trauma but they continue to experience racism and discrimination in the health care system, further impacting their health.
Reconciliation means working together to repair a relationship. We continue to work with partners in the Indigenous community to co-develop a truth and reconciliation plan for Grand River Hospital to reflect the community’s needs and priorities. This plan will embed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action related to health care.
To First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous peoples, Grand River Hospital is committed to walking alongside you with humility, respect and transparency. With a spirit of collaboration, we aim to become a place where you feel you can receive culturally safe care and where your identities are respected.
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