A flag-raising ceremony took place Thursday morning at Chinook Regional Hospital. Alberta Health Services says this is one of the many steps needed to bring systematic changes to the healthcare system. A member of the Blackfoot Confederacy Council says they are making the steps to eventually bridge those gaps within the system as we work towards reconciliation.
“We need to take active steps to transform the healthcare system and raising the flag today (Thursday) is one of the many steps we are taking towards this goal. This flag symbolizes the unity and strength of the four nations within the Blackfoot Confederacy,” said Samantha First Charger, Manager of Indigenous Health for Alberta Health Services.
“We have been making great efforts in a variety of areas including health and education, children services and trying to making some inroads into some of the more important policy decision-making tables and helping to just address some of the discrepancies that exist in all of those areas. It does symbolize the efforts we are making towards trying to create awareness of the importance of our culture and the importance of how our people that are in the system, that are in the healthcare system, are trying to heal themselves in a good way but also to of course working with Alberta Health Services just to try to eliminate some of the racism that exists and some of the discrimination that exists as well,” said Kirby Smith, Inter-Governmental Relations Coordinator for the Blackfoot Confederacy Council.
Similar flags were also raised at hospitals in Cardston and Pincher Creek.