As health practitioners, we all ultimately have the same goal – positive patient outcomes. To create positive patient outcomes, we need to practice cultural safety.
Like many, we are learning how we, as organizations and as individuals, can ensure we practice cultural safety. To support that learning, we hosted a Planting Seeds, Growing Leaders workshop with Shannon Beauchamp guiding us through Cultural Safety and Humility – Change Starts with Me. We invited dental assistants, our Council and staff, the National Dental Assisting Examining Board, and the other Alberta oral health colleges to the session. It was important to us to have all stakeholders who contribute to positive patient outcomes join in so we can work together toward cultural safety and humility.
Shannon Beauchamp, Migizi Miigwanokwe (Eagle Feather Woman), is an Indigenous facilitator, consultant, coach, storyteller, keynote speaker and kindness ambassador. She delivered a thought-provoking presentation that blended her professional experience with her life story as an Indigenous person in Canada. Through storytelling and humour, she challenged and inspired us to “be the change” and focus on what we can control – our attitudes, skills, and behaviours. She reinforced the message that we are not responsible for what happened in the past, but we can create culturally-safe spaces and support cultural humility approaches.
Understanding, Connecting, Changing
In her workshop, Shannon guided us on a learning journey toward change. You, too, can take action by learning more about cultural safety and humility. These ideas may help you on your journey:
- understand cultural safety and humility concepts
- connect through history and stories
- commit to change
Join the Journey
As oral health care practitioners, regulators, educators and examiners, we don’t know it all and we don’t know everything about everyone’s life experiences, or their culture and feelings. Our journey of learning and being open to listening to what better care means for Indigenous peoples is ongoing. It will be a life-long journey. We invite you to join us in setting an example by committing to doing this together and to supporting each other on this journey. Everyday, let’s show up with kindness and awareness to create a culture of change for better oral health services and overall health outcomes for Indigenous people in Alberta.