This video contains sensitive content about residential school experiences and could be triggering for some viewers. For culturally safe crisis support, please phone: 1-800-KUU-US17 | 1-800-588-8717
In recognition of Oral Health Month, we are honoured to share the video, "My dad's unbelievable story, untold by him," featuring Connie Paul, Teltitelwet/Yetta, a Registered Nurse and Home Care Coordinator from Tsartlip First Nation.
In the video, Connie reflects on her father, Benny Paul's, dental experience during his time at Kuper Island residential school. "This story belongs to my dad," begins Connie Paul, before telling of her father's incredible strength and resilience in the face of great pain during his childhood.
Benny Paul, Siukhnah-mit, (Tsartlip First Nation) was born on March 31, 1927 and went on to become a great advocate and leader for his community. He passed away on November 9, 1994.
"My dad's unbelievable story, untold by him" was first screened at the 2018 Pacific Dental Conference for over 150 oral health professionals during a cultural safety and humility workshop hosted by FNHA's CEO Joe Gallagher and the Oral Health program.
The video speaks to the importance of hardwiring cultural safety and humility within the dental system and the need to educate dental practitioners on how trauma can influence generations of health care clients. As Connie notes, "People have to heal with dignity or they will not heal at all."
Connie shared her family's story to help build greater awareness of intergenerational trauma and its impacts on Indigenous clients within the oral health system in BC. Her hope is that the video will support understanding and ongoing healing. "This story is not about trying to make anyone feel bad, feel guilty for what was done," says Connie. "This story is about how we need to heal together."
You can watch the video of Connie telling her father's story here.