The Manitoba Psychiatric Association (MPA) represents a heterogenous group dedicated to serving all Manitobans in need of Mental Health support. We unequivocally support commemorating the lives lost and families destroyed by the cultural genocide on Indigenous peoples in Canada. We are devastated by the finding of over 1800 Indigenous children’s remains at various residential institutions across Canada. This is a strong reminder of the historical and continued systemic anti-indigenous racism and colonialism. These deeply disturbing discoveries emphasize what Indigenous Peoples have been saying for many years.
We acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples’ day to day lives, mental and physical health is impacted by the Indigenous genocide, continued racism, intergenerational trauma, and colonialism. We recognize the role that the healthcare system and healthcare providers have to play in this ongoing discrimination and the affect this has on Indigenous People when seeking mental health services. We have a duty to ensure that culturally appropriate and trauma-informed care is provided.
The MPA is dedicated to educating ourselves and our members regarding Canada’s history, and present situation. We pledge to review our role as psychiatrists with regards to the calls to action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and support and advocate for their implementation. We seek to build and strengthen relationships with Urban and Rural Indigenous communities. We look to the guidance of indigenous communities and leaders in understanding and addressing these inequalities as we work towards reconciliation. The need for systemic change is obvious, and we are committed to this important work.
This, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation marks the grief, loss, pain, and horror of the state planning and carrying out a system taking away dignity, human rights, and cultural integrity under the guise of “civilization”. One day in a year will not be enough, but it will help stimulate a conversation on who we are, why we are here, and where we are going.
Please see the following resources.
- Calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation commission: Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf (exactdn.com)
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website: https://nctr.ca
- Orange Shirt Society website, a charitable organization that we encourage members to learn about and to consider supporting: Orange Shirt Society (orangeshirtday.org)
- Indian Residential School Survivors and Family crisis line is confidential, toll-free, and available 24 hours/day: 1-866-925-4419.
- Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1581971225188/1581971250953