City of London Diversity, Race Relations & Inclusivity Award recognizes SOAHAC & South West LHIN

SOAHAC Receives Award for ICS Training

December 9, 2015

The Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) and the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) are the proud recipients of the City of London’s Diversity, Race Relations and Inclusivity Award for the Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program (ICS).

The Award recognizes achievements that promote public awareness of initiatives on diversity, anti-racism, inclusivity and human rights and to promote London as a welcoming city. There are five award categories. ICS was the winner in the Corporation category.

The ICS training program is a unique, facilitated online training program developed by Indigenous scholars and designed to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous peoples.

The ICS program teaches participants about terminology, diversity, anti-racism, inclusivity, aspects of colonial history, such as Indian residential schools and Indian Hospitals, a timeline of historical events, and contexts for understanding social disparities and inequities. Through interactive activities, participants examine culture, stereotyping, and the consequences and legacies of colonization. This program addresses institutionalized racism within health care organizations. It is a process of re-education designed to break stereotypes, unconscious bias, and support a better patient experience for Indigenous peoples accessing services.

“Creating an equitable health system is a priority for the South West LHIN, and the ICS training program is a key component to assisting the staff and boards of health service provider partners to be in a better position to provide culturally relevant and safe care to all Indigenous peoples in this region. Congratulations to our partners at SOAHAC for leading the implementation of this program – it is a well-deserved recognition for our community.” – Michael Barrett, CEO, South West LHIN

“This training, developed by our Indigenous scholars, fills gaps in Indigenous history that many providers in the health care system have never had an opportunity to learn before. Without a solid understanding of colonial history, and how that history impacts the health of our populations today, providers aren’t always able to provide culturally safe care to Indigenous peoples. That is what gives this program such impact.” – Gertie Mai Muise, Associate Director, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre

“Taking the ICS training increased my awareness of the inherent integration of colonization into the practices of social work. In some ways, that awareness makes me more confident, but in other ways, it has made me more reflective of the impact of my practice for the people I support. It made me think about how to practice social work in a good way, to support the healing, health and wellbeing of the clients I meet.” – Mandy Malone, Social Worker, London Intercommunity Health Centre

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