Reconciling Care for Indigenous Women Here and Everywhere

Every patient who comes to the campus of the Royal Alexandra Hospital deserves to be treated with respect, and for the patient’s way of knowing and being to also be respected and valued.

An unfortunate truth came to the foundation’s attention some time ago—our Indigenous brothers and sisters encounter many barriers in accessing healthcare systems here in Edmonton, and elsewhere. 

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If successful, the Royal Alexandra Hospital would be the first tertiary care hospital in Canada.

Years in the Making

These barriers stem from ongoing trauma and social determinants of health typical of colonization. Many point back to racism and discrimination.

In fact, studies show that examples of this type of treatment toward Indigenous women include physicians branding an Indigenous woman as ‘drug-seeking’ or mislabeling her as a detox patient, often delaying the release of necessary prescription drugs and casting stigma over all future hospital visits. 

The Royal Alexandra Hospital is honoured to have launched a funding campaign in 2021 for a new program to remedy this mistreatment.

In partnership with Indigenous-led community organizations and rooted in integrity, respect, and the pursuit of excellence in healthcare, the Indigenous Cultural Partnership is a five-year pilot program that will seek to establish a reconciled model of medicine.  

In other words, the program will advocate for the prioritization of Indigenous health and wellness knowledge systems and practices in sexual and reproductive health, and establish equal representation.

The idea is that these systems and practices would work in tandem with the Euro-Canadian approach already in place to deliver the best—and most culturally-safe—care possible. The program would be implemented here at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. 

If successful, the Royal Alexandra Hospital would be the first tertiary care hospital in Canada to accelerate systemic changes in sexual and reproductive healthcare for Indigenous women and gender-diverse people. 

The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation encourages you to learn more about this initiative and to be part of bringing to life this culturally safe and integrative model of care.