A 6-month external review into the Saskatoon Health Region states racism still exists within the health care system.
The review was launched in January after Indigenous women came forward with concerns about being coerced into having tubal ligations after delivery. A total of 7 women provided their stories.
Vice President of Integrated Health Services Jackie Mann says she was saddened and angered by the report, but is now motivated to make change.
“Only true action will demonstrate our commitment,” Mann said in a news conference in Saskatoon Thursday. “We know that tangible and real change is required. I personally, as a senior leader in our health care system commit that I will do all that I can to bring real change.”
Calls to action include an Advisory Council comprised of Elders and other indigenous leaders, mandatory cultural training, and creating a reproductive centre for vulnerable Aboriginal women who are pregnant.
Mann says she is “very sorry” for what the women went through, and says without taking action, they will fail to address racism.
In the meantime, the provincial government responded following this news conference.
In a memo released to the media, a government spokesperson says it wants to ensure that the perspectives of indigenous peoples are considered from day one in the governance and operations of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
“To that end, we have directed the newly appointed SHA Board of Directors and the SHA Transition Team to read this report and give its recommendations and calls to action full consideration in the planning and implementation of the Saskatchewan Health Authority,” the response stated. “This report will provide valuable insight into the stories and experiences of indigenous women in Saskatchewan’s health system, and will be integral in helping guide us in the right direction for the future.”
(with files from CJWW)