A need arises from the fact that, according to the foundation, indigenous children are between three and five times more likely to suffer from various serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases or certain cancers.
The new space therefore aims to meet the needs of this population, explains Dr. Melanie Morris, the first Indigenous pediatric surgeon in Canada and responsible for the project.
She also says she understands the issues that affect these children.
Indigenous children do not feel safe in this facility where we treat them, where they come to heal, she believes.
Dr. Morris believes that a safe and reassuring space to provide care can help lead to reconciliation.
The Winnipeg Children’s Hospital will provide 186 square meters for the new facilities.
The central space will allow for Indigenous ceremonies, educational sessions and spiritual care to be provided to young patients and their families. Everything will be designed by native designers.
This project is presented as a response to call to action number 22 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which calls for the recognition and use of Indigenous healing practices.
Call to action number 22:
We call on those who have the capacity to effect change in the Canadian health care system to recognize the value of Indigenous healing practices and to use these practices in the treatment of Indigenous patients, in collaboration with Elders and Aboriginal healers, when these patients request it.
Historian Karine Duhamel emphasizes that reconciliation requires action.
: it must take action! So, the term reconciliation, really, it refers to the process of reconciliation, but really to actions that drive transformation and change “,” text “:” Go beyond words: it has to take action! So the term reconciliation, really, it refers to the process of reconciliation, but really to actions that drive transformation and change “}}”>Go beyond words: it has to go through action! So the term reconciliation refers to the process of reconciliation, but really to actions that drive transformation and change., she explains.
The foundation has already raised $ 225,000 for the project. However, she stresses that more funds are needed to carry it out.
While Aboriginal people make up 18% of the population in Manitoba, 50% of Winnipeg Children’s Hospital patients are Aboriginal. Many come from isolated communities and from the north of the province.
With information from Charles-Étienne Drouin