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CAPWHN Position Statement on Cultural Safety/Humility


News Release


Ottawa, June 21, 2017—The Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses (CAPWHN) believes nurses play a pivotal role in perinatal and women’s health. CAPWHN’s Advocacy and Health Policy Committee (AHPC) focuses on addressing provincial and national issues and events significant to the health of women and newborns. The AHPC strives to create excellence and sustain an environment in which CAPWHN members can work effectively to improve health outcomes for women and newborns. As a result of a gap identified by CAPWHN’s AHPC, today CAPWHN became the first Canadian non-Indigenous nursing specialty association to adopt a position statement in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, focused on cultural safety and humility while caring for Indigenous people. The Advocacy and Health Policy Committee thanks the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA) for their guidance and collaboration in the development of CAPWHN’s Position Statement on Cultural Safety/Humility.


The position statement was released and discussed today, June 21, on National Aboriginal Day in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, in conjunction with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) Indigenous Women’s Health Committee meeting.


“We believe today’s commitment is only the first step in the road to healing and improving human rights, and the delivery of equitable health care access, provision and quality,” said Sharon Dore RN PhD, President of CAPWHN. “First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have a right to a health care system that is free of racism and discrimination.”


“It is important to acknowledge the Indigenous history within Canada and the impact on Indigenous individuals, families, and communities by healthcare providers in this sensitive period between conception and postpartum. This response to the Calls to Action is the beginning. We hope it can assist healthcare providers to start their journey, appreciating the resiliency of Indigenous people and understanding the impact of the truths in our past, building relationships amongst each of us, and growing to learn from each other” said Leah Thorp RN, Co-chair of CAPWHN’s Advocacy and Health Policy Committee and one of the authors of the position statement.


“Nurses play a tremendous role in ensuring culturally safe health care,” said Dr. Dore. “Perinatal and women’s health are areas where individuals may feel particularly vulnerable, and CAPWHN’s Position Statement on Cultural Safety/Humility will help nurses in our field better care for our Indigenous clients across the country.”


To arrange a media interview please contact:

Rita Assabgui, CAPWHN Executive Director

613-730-4192 x 266


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The Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses (CAPWHN), launched on January 1, 2011, represents over 400 women's health, obstetric and newborn nurses from across Canada. CAPWHN aims to promote excellence in nursing practice, leadership, education, and research in the areas of perinatal and women’s health care. More information is available at www.capwhn.ca


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