PARA unequivocally denounces racism, intolerance and inequity in all forms. PARA stands in solidarity with all Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).
We still live in a world where systemic racism, intolerance and inequity exist. Unfortunately, our members continue to experience racism and intolerance. These experiences are both visible and invisible – in the words spoken, the actions taken and the barriers encountered.
Racism, discrimination and unconscious bias exist in our health care system. PARA has focused on working with the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services to ensure that the Values Statement in the Resident Physician Agreement is a lived experience:
The parties to this Agreement are committed to a working environment free of harassment and intimidation where mutual respect and the ability to work together productively are promoted and supported.
The parties support the prevention of harassment and intimidation and the development of processes that promote and support a safe work environment that protects all people from physical, psychological, and emotional harm.
The parties are committed to cultivating an atmosphere of trust, respect, and dignity in all their relationships.
While PARA has worked advocating for both individuals and for all members to create a safer working environment, we understand that this work is far from complete. We are committed to continuing moving forward with this work – both in the initiatives we develop and offer our members, and in our advocacy efforts with our partners.
PARA acknowledges we have not previously spoken out as an Association on human rights, racism and intolerance. As Albertans and Canadians are reflecting on systemic biases, we understand that we have been a participant in a system that is built on, and perpetuates, racial inequities. In this present time of listening and learning, we feel it is critical for us to re-evaluate our actions in order to move forward, grow and work towards active anti-racism as an organization. We know that our silence disappointed many of our members. We affirm our commitment moving forward to reviewing and evaluating our policies and processes, and striving to improve our support of inclusivity, diversity and anti-racism in our operations. We are learning, we are listening and we are evolving.
PARA wants to hear from you, our members, about ways in which we might provide support as we continue to work on your behalf. If there are stories you want to share or practical suggestions that PARA should present to AHS, PGMEs, or programs, we want to know.
Please reach out to us – we are listening.
To honour all who were harmed by Indian Residential Schools, the Government of Canada has declared September 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. PARA has heard from many resident physicians who support this designated day for reconciliation. PARA strongly supports observing this day in Alberta. The PARA office will be closed on September 30 for our staff to reflect on this day.
The Resident Physician Agreement lists the named (statutory) holidays agreed upon by AHS, PARA and the universities; this day is not included, making it necessary for the Government of Alberta and AHS to formally recognize it. To date, neither the Government of Alberta nor AHS have officially recognized the Day for Truth and Reconciliation. PARA commits to advocating for its inclusion as a named holiday when we next enter Agreement negotiations.
While not formally recognizing the day at this time, AHS has a number of events planned. You can find more details on the 2021 events at the below link.
A message from Dr. Lauren Bilinsky, PARA President
“I call on all resident physicians to commit to reconciliation. Wherever you are on September 30 this year, reflect on your interaction with colonialism. Consider taking a moment of silence for those harmed by the IRS, reading an article about the IRS, or re-reviewing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Health.
If you are organizing academic or leadership sessions for your program I call on you to dedicate a session in 2021 to Indigenous Health, cultural competency or trauma-informed care.
A list of resources on truth and reconciliation, and on systemic racism in the health care system, is provided below.”
- Special Interlocutor on IRS
- National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation
- TRC Reports
- In Plain Sight Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care (2020)
- An Indigenous physician’s response to the settler physician perspective on Indigenous health, truth, and reconciliation.
- - M Anderson 2018
- A settler physician perspective on Indigenous health, truth, and reconciliation.
- - D Jaworsky
- Medical experimentation and the roots of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Indigenous Peoples in Canada
- Nutrition experiments
- AMA Resources