“Ceremony in Progress”: The Need For and Implementation of Culturally Safe Spaces for Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s Westernized and Colonial Healthcare Systems
Hello everyone! My name is Madeleine Bower, I am a 4th year Professional Communication student, who is also minoring in criminology. I am a dedicated student who is committed to learning inside and outside of the classroom, and also one of the industry leads who helped put together this year’s Signify event. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and I am excited for an exciting Signify!
My research encompasses Canada’s Westernized and Colonial healthcare systems and institutions, how they negatively impact Indigenous peoples seeking care, and a recommended solution to solve this (culturally safe spaces). Motivated by the Truth and Reconciliation’s healthcare related Calls to Action, as well as knowledge gained from Indigenous focused TMU courses (and outside knowledge) I began my capstone journey. I have been conducting a content analysis on secondary data surrounding this topic including, government reports and initiatives, healthcare related reports, Indigenous organizational reports, scholarly journal articles (mainly medical), and news sources. Through research conducted so far, I have been able to prove and test my hypothesis that Canada’s healthcare institutions are in fact, situated within a Colonial and Westernized framework that negatively disproportionately affect Indigenous peoples. I have also been able to test and prove that an appropriate solution to this problem, is the introduction of Indigenous-specific culturally safe spaces that would allow for ceremonial practice within healthcare institutions directly. Stemming from the concept of “Cultural Safety” these spaces would create a more welcoming, safe, and a less discriminatory healthcare environment for Indigenous peoples. Culturally safe spaces are also an Indigenous recommended solution that addresses the Colonialism and Westernized ways of our healthcare systems at its core.