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Embedding Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility as a culture of practice in health research institutions

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Health inequities between Indigenous people and other Canadians are rooted in colonization and perpetuated by racist and discriminatory health systems and practices. The lack of cultural safety in health care settings is known to block Indigenous people from critical health care and supports. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (2015a) Calls to Action #23 and #24 reflect the importance of advancing Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility in health care systems including research institutions. Through adopting an Indigenous public health perspective centred on an Indigenous historical perspective of health, this capstone project examines the issue of Indigenous cultural safety and humility in a health research institution in British Columbia. Drawing on existing literature and six qualitative interviews, nine strategies to increase Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility are analyzed against seven evaluative criteria. With the lens that advancing Indigenous self-determination over health and wellbeing including within the health research process is a necessary step for reconciliation and addressing health inequities, recommendations for individual health research institutions are provided along with considerations for policy implementation and next steps.
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