Cultural Humility Campaign Launched as part of National Aboriginal Day of Wellness Events in BC



For Immediate Release

What will you do to make healthcare culturally safe? Make your public commitment today.

(Coast Salish Territory – Vancouver, BC) – The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is pleased to announce the launch of a campaign to support the advancement of cultural humility and cultural safety for First Nations and Aboriginal peoples in the British Columbia health system.

The #itstartswithme for cultural humility campaign is centered around personal and systemic change for better health services. Health care providers are encouraged to learn more about cultural humility and cultural safety in healthcare and to make the pledge of commitment by visiting

"Cultural humility and cultural safety are both personal and systemic change journeys. The Declaration of Commitment signed in 2015 supports this systems-level change in the BC health landscape," said Joe Gallagher, First Nations Health Authority Chief Executive Officer. "On the FNHA cultural humility web portal, we encourage the over 100,000 health system employees in BC to learn more, pledge and share their commitment with the hashtag #itstartswithme."

Cultural humility is a process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and develop relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another's experience. Cultural safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the health care system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe when receiving and making decisions about their health care.

"I understand this work is only the beginning, not the end," said Health Minister Terry Lake. "Cultural humility is a lifelong process of self-reflection to understand personal biases, and to develop and maintain mutually respectful partnerships based on trust. From our partnerships, we will know we have achieved cultural safety when the people receiving our services tell us we have."

In July 2015, all Health Authority CEOs in BC signed a Declaration of Commitment to advancing cultural humility and cultural safety within their health service organizations. This health system commitment to the declaration gives all health professionals a mandate to advance cultural humility and safety in their practices with First Nations in BC.

"Cultural humility and safety are the foundation of patient-centered care.  It is about listening to each person and their story, and ensuring that they feel safe when receiving care and making decisions about their health," said Christina Krause, Executive Director of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council.  "Together, we can make a significant difference to the lives and health of First Nations and Aboriginal peoples in BC."

When health care professionals engage with First Nations and Aboriginal peoples from a place of cultural humility, they are helping to create safer environments where individuals and families feel respected. This shift will not only benefit First Nations peoples, but also lead to more culturally safe services for all British Columbians.

Each Health Authority is implementing the declaration in their own way, in partnership with the First Nations and Aboriginal peoples they serve. This includes new localized training, relationship building and onboarding for health staff, decision-making and conflict resolution tables including peacemaking circles, and working closely with the First Nations Health Authority and BC Patient Safety & Quality Council to address health service complaints in a culturally safe way.

This campaign announcement is timed to coincide with June 21 National Aboriginal Day of Wellness and more than 100 wellness-focused, community-organized events in First Nations communities across the province of BC supported by the FNHA.

To learn more on cultural humility in the BC health system and pledge your commitment as a health care provider visit: and use the hashtag #itstartswithme and #culturalhumility.

Find out more about the 2016 National Aboriginal Day of Wellness events online here.


Media Contact: 

First Nations Health Authority

Christina Krause, BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

Download this media release in PDF format here (167 KB)