Doctors of BC Statement on National Indigenous History Month 2024

June 3, 2024

Doctors of BC recognizes National Indigenous History Month in Canada by acknowledging the culture, traditional knowledge, and the achievements of Indigenous Peoples across this land, and whose presence continues to have an evolving impact.

The land on which Doctors of BC operates and supports physicians is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) Nations, whose strong relationship with their territories endures today.

Fifteen years ago, the House of Commons declared the month of June as National Indigenous History Month – a time to honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across the country and to encourage a desire for Canadians to learn more about Indigenous Peoples. This month celebrates the diverse and distinct cultural practices and spiritual beliefs, Indigenous languages, and connection to the land that was once lost to colonialism.

As important, June 21 is recognized as National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is the summer solstice which marks the beginning of the salmon and berry picking season, and is celebrated by many Indigenous communities as a sacred time to give thanks to the Creator.

Within the Doctors of BC’s strategic plan (2024-2029) is our commitment to Truth & Reconciliation and advancing equity, justice, and cultural safety in health care. Along with the Joint Collaborative Committees (JCCs) we are committed to advancing Indigenous Specific Anti Racism (ISAR) and Cultural Safety (CS) by co-creating opportunities for members and staff, in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

We encourage physicians and our staff to appreciate the significance of National Indigenous History Month and take time to seek out opportunities to attend community events, and support Indigenous artists, writers and musicians.

We lift our hands to the leadership, partnership, and strength of Indigenous Peoples. Together, we can contribute to the wellness of all Indigenous families.

Additional Resources

Description of visual elements for National Indigenous History Month 

Among the various visual elements illustrating Indigenous cultures, the sun represents the summer solstice. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis as well as the four elements of nature (earth, water, fire and air) are represented by different symbols and colours. The visual is supported by a multicoloured smoke* reminding us of Indigenous spirituality but also the colours of the rainbow, symbol of inclusion and diversity of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and their members.

*Smoke is used in different ways by all three Indigenous groups in Canada. Whether it is to smoke fish and meat, to burn sage and tobacco, or for sacred ceremonies or celebrations, it is a significant symbol in Indigenous cultures.

Description of the three icons:

  • The eagle represents First Nations
  • The narwhal represents Inuit
  • The violin represents Métis