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CMTBC creates new resource for RMTs as part of commitment to address Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in BC’s health care system

CMTBC has made a commitment to action to address Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in BC’s health care system, beginning with a new cultural safety and humility resource for RMTs.

CMTBC has developed and launched a new Cultural Safety & Humility section of the College’s website as a resource for registrants to support meaningful engagement and learning with respect to Indigenous anti-racism and cultural safety and humility. The resource includes:

  • An Introduction, which includes the CMTBC commitment to action.
  • A Timeline that provides a brief history of institutional and systemic racism directed at Indigenous Peoples.
  • An Applications to Practice page that provides RMTs with guidance on how principles of cultural safety and humility can be applied to massage therapy practice. The content and guidance on this page were created in partnership with a cultural safety consultant, along with Elders of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation.
  • Selected Resources for learning more about cultural safety and humility.

On November 30, 2020, Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond released In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-Specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care. The report is a deep examination of Indigenous-specific racism in BC’s health care system. In Plain Sight documents how the health care system reflects the legacy of colonialism, which enables and permits systems, behaviours, and beliefs in which racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples is pervasive. The report includes 24 recommendations to address Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in BC’s health care system.

Following the release of the report, CMTBC committed to considering the recommendations and deciding on actions to help eliminate Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in health care. As we approach the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2022, the College has made a commitment to action, including development of the cultural safety and humility resource, and the following statement from the CMTBC Board:

CMTBC acknowledges that:

  • It is time for us to address the consequences of intergenerational abuse and trauma of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Silence is harmful and affects Indigenous people seeking care, affects RMTs who self-identify as Indigenous, prevents us from learning from each other, and affects our staff and volunteers on whose input we rely.
  • Massage therapy, through touch, has the potential to further traumatize when it is provided without care and attention to complex trauma and the backdrop of cultural safety.
  • Cultural humility begins with us and will be demonstrated in our actions: we will act with humility and a commitment to creating cultural safety for Indigenous peoples.

CMTBC commits to:

  • Continuing to educate Board members, committee members, and staff in cultural safety and humility, unconscious bias, and trauma-informed care. Further, CMTBC’s Board begins its strategic planning for 2023 and beyond with a committed focus on evaluating its structure, standards, and processes with respect to Indigenous peoples.

On September 30, 2022, CMTBC will close the College’s office to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

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