One way that public health organizations can help dismantle racism is by facilitating conversations about how racial inequity plays out in social, scientific and legislative arenas. It is with this aim that I moderated the closing plenary session at the annual pan-Canadian public health gathering, Public Health 2017, in Halifax, NS, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.
When I attended the Public Health 2017 conference this past summer in Halifax, NS, (in Mi’kmaki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People), there were multiple resources from the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA) of British Columbia that I found very interesting. One of the other resources the FNHDA shared also caught my attention: the Social Determinants of Health Discussion Guide, created by the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) in BC.
At a symposium held at the Public Health 2017 conference, we learned about the concept of lateral kindness — a deliberate attempt by Indigenous communities to counter the lateral violence experienced as a result of colonization in Canada.
Indigenous knowledge translation (KT) is a concept of central importance in public health practice. The recent annual conference of the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) highlighted many sessions reinforcing that the application, processes, outcomes, assumptions and integrity of research can all be strengthened by thinking about KT from an Indigenous perspective.
One of the central conversations throughout the gathering “Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples” was about different ways of knowing and how this is critical to doing research and knowledge translation that is meaningful to the Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit, Metis) of Canada.