Story Posted: 2018-06-19
Ceremony for unveiling of Truth and Reconciliation mural
Pictured: Beth Vachon, Saskatchewan Health Authority Vice President Quality, Safety and Strategy; Chief Mark Arcand, Saskatoon Tribal Council; Jean Morrison, CEO, St. Paul's Hospital; Shirley Isbister, CUMFI President; Louise Simard, Special Advisor to Métis-Nation Saskatchewan; Gabe Lafond, Saskatchewan Health Authority Executive Director of First Nations and Métis Health.
A new mural at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon ties together the past, present and future in a moving reminder of the goals of Truth and Reconciliation. The mural was unveiled today during an emotional ceremony that brought together Knowledge Keepers; Residential School Survivors; First Nations and Métis community partners, stakeholders and leaders; and St. Paul’s Hospital and Saskatchewan Health Authority leaders and staff.
St. Paul’s Hospital President and CEO Jean Morrison, said the Hospital acknowledges the harms done by Residential Schools, and they are committed to Truth and Reconciliation, using the TRC Report as their guide.
“There are many Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action focused on health,” Morrison said. “As a place of healing, we recognize that our Hospital and Catholic health care have a role to play in helping those affected move forward through our commitment to improve Indigenous health. But there is much more work to be done. As physicians and staff walk these halls, this mural will be a daily reminder of how we might be able to realize our goals.”
The mural has three sections representing the past, the present and the future. Images of the past reflect First Nations and Métis people living in harmony with nature. Images of the present reflect the commitment of St. Paul’s Hospital and the Saskatchewan health system’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, depicting the flag raising ceremony held at the hospital in 2016, where the Commitment to Reconciliation was signed. Images of the future show children from W. P. Bate Community School, near St. Paul’s Hospital, holding the Truth and Reconciliation flag, youth from Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, and hundreds of people coming together to help realize the dream of walking together in harmony.
"Today is just one more step as we continue our journey towards equitable care for First Nations and Métis people," said Gabe Lafond, Executive Director of First Nations and Métis Health. "As health care providers, we will continue to find meaningful ways to provide excellent service for all people who seek our care."
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is working towards improving the health and well-being of First Nations and Métis people. In October 2016, St. Paul’s Hospital and the former Saskatoon Health Region signed a Commitment to Action in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, and the SHA and St. Paul’s Hospital support programs and services such as the First Nations and Métis health services, and its smudging policy, which it put in place in 2016.