Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing/Statement of Commitment/Anti-Indigenous Racism

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing
Statement of Commitment
Anti-Indigenous Racism

Delivered by: Dr. Cynthia Baker

June 29, 2021

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) is the national voice for nursing education in Canada. In light of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), CASN’s member schools unanimously adopted a motion to respond to the TRC Calls to Action. This was adopted as a strategic priority in the 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan, which states: “CASN will advance leading practices, equity, and the national response to the TRC Calls to Action in nursing education and scholarship”.

CASN is the national accrediting body for education programs in nursing and, as of December 2020, our standards for practical nurse programs, baccalaureate nursing programs, and nurse practitioner programs include the following key element:

The curriculum addresses Call to Action 24 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls on programs of nursing to integrate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; human rights; the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada; Indigenous teachings and practice; intercultural competency; and anti-racism.

Le programme d’études aborde l’appel à l’action de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation, qui demande aux écoles de sciences infirmières d’inclure dans leurs programmes d’études la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones, les droits de la personne, l’histoire des peuples autochtones au Canada, les apprentissages et les pratiques autochtones, les compétences interculturelles et la lutte contre le racisme.

Consultations with Indigenous advisors across Canada are underway to refine and enhance our initial indicators that this requirement is being met.  In response to yesterday’s statement of commitment from Accreditation Canada, CASN would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Accreditation Canada and other health professional accreditation bodies who are developing related standards in order to enhance the consistency of national expectations across disciplines.

A joint CASN/CINA task force, with a mandate to “determine directions and guide CASN in acting to advance the TRC Calls to Action, developed a Framework of Strategies for Nursing Education to Respond to the Calls to Action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The focus of the Strategies are TRC Calls to Action 23, which calls for an increase in the number of Indigenous health professionals, and Call to Action 24, which calls for nursing students “to take a course dealing with Aboriginal health issues . . .” and “. . . skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism”.  The CASN/CINA framework includes foundational strategies focusing on the social-emotional and cultural environment of the school; curricular strategies; and strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students and Indigenous faculty.

CASN is committed to taking action to promote the integration of these strategies in schools of nursing throughout Canada. Initiatives currently being planned or underway include the following:

  • With support from Indigenous Services Canada, and in partnership with CINA, an annual survey is being developed to assess the implementation of the recruitment and retention strategies in the Framework.
  • A series of educational modules for educators is being planned in collaboration with Indigenous nurse educators and will be delivered through CASN’s Canadian Nurse Educator Institute (CNEI) in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022. This series will focus on the implementation of the curricular strategies identified in the Framework.
  • The CASN lunch and learn webinar series in the coming fall and winter (2021-2022) will focus on presentations of research underway being conducted by Indigenous nursing scholars and Indigenous graduate students related to Indigenous health and anti-Indigenous racism.

The schools of nursing in Canada believe that action addressing anti-Indigenous racism is critical. Schools are committed to educating nurses who possess cultural humility and can provide culturally safe care to all. Schools of nursing are also committed to increasing the recruitment and retention of Indigenous nursing students and faculty, and providing a supportive teaching and learning environment that is welcoming and inclusive.