Hospital Raises Fort William First Nation Flag to Recognize Traditional Lands
Jean Bartkowiak, Hospital President & CEO, Peter Collins, Chief of Fort William First Nation, and Michael Hardy, Hospital Board Director, joined together in partnership to raise the Fort William First Nation flag in a ceremony to recognize that the Hospital is in the Robinson-Superior Treaty territory on the traditional territory of the Ojibwe people of Fort William First Nation.
By Maryanne Matthews - June 9, 2018
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre raised the Fort William First Nation flag in a ceremony to recognize that the Hospital is in the Robinson-Superior Treaty territory on the traditional territory of the Ojibwe people of Fort William First Nation.
“Our Hospital is committed to reconciliation and the advancement of Indigenous Health,” said Michael Hardy, Hospital Board Director. “It’s important that we pay our respect to the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation in a visual and meaningful way. We hope this helps to demonstrate that we respect Indigenous history and culture and that our Hospital is a safe and welcoming place for Indigenous patients and families.”
Peter Colllins, Chief of Fort William First Nation was in attendance and helped raise the flag at the ceremony held on Wednesday, May 30th.
“Flying the Fort William First Nation’s flag is an important step in the right direction,” said Chief Collins. “It’s very encouraging to see the Hospital put such an emphasis on Indigenous health and I look forward to continuing our partnership and working together for the benefit of Indigenous patients and communities.”
The Indigenous community is the fastest growing population and experience unique health challenges and barriers with significantly worse health status than the rest of the population. The Hospital’s Strategic Plan 2020 identifies Indigenous Health as a priority.
“Our Hospital is making serious progress in addressing some of the behavioural, cultural, geographical, and societal challenges affecting our Indigenous population. We’re committed to the ongoing process of learning more and doing better for Indigenous patients and families,” said Jean Bartkowiak, Hospital President & CEO. “Today’s flag raising ceremony not only pays respect to the traditional lands of Fort William First Nation, but symbolizes our commitment to partnership. It’s about being healthy together.”
To learn more about the Hospital’s commitment to Indigenous Health, visit www.tbrhsc.net.