(September 30, 2021, Ottawa, ON) — In the spirit of reconciliation, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) announces that it will recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th as an annual statutory holiday. Our offices are closed for the day to provide our staff with the time and opportunity to reflect on and to engage with Truth and Reconciliation in their personal lives.
Though CHPCA is not a federally regulated workplace and thus not subject to Bill C-5, CHPCA is voluntarily recognizing September 30th as a statutory holiday for its staff as part of its ongoing commitment to equity and dignity in hospice palliative care for all Canadians.
While we are proud of the work we accomplished over the past 30 years in improving access and equity in hospice palliative care, we recognize that CHPCA could, and should, have acted earlier to engage in reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. We take responsibility for those shortcomings, and we are committed to advancing towards reconciliation as an organization, and as individuals. CHPCA recognizes that on our path towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action must guide and inform our efforts.
In our strategic planning for 2019-2022, CHPCA identified the promotion of awareness and learning opportunities in quality hospice palliative care for diverse audiences as a key goal. In alignment with that goal, the Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care Equity Task Group was created. Convened by CHPCA, this task group consists of professionals who engage with populations that face structural barriers to accessing quality palliative care. Together, we champion the advance care planning process in Canada among those populations, including those living in Indigenous and racialized communities, living with disabilities, and those experiencing homelessness. We look forward to building off the work they accomplish to make Advance Care Planning and hospice palliative care more accessible and equitable for Indigenous Peoples.
We call on all Canadians, and especially on members of the hospice palliative care community, to take some time today to learn about Truth and Reconciliation, to listen to Indigenous voices and to reflect on the actions you can take to support the Indigenous folks in your communities.
To learn more about Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous Peoples:
To learn more about Indigenous Peoples, Health Care and Hospice Palliative Care:
- The Unforgotten, a five-part film exploring the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples living in Canada
- Indigenous Cultural Safety Training: Advanced illness, palliative care and grief, an online course offered by LivingMyCulture.ca and Canadian Virtual Hospice
- Access to Health Services as a Social Determinant of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health, National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (nccih.ca), 2019.
For media inquiries:
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
Phone: (343) 804-4414