Truth and Reconciliation
“Kaamotaan (Reconciliation) – Cleansing as Healing”
Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) is committed to taking positive steps towards Truth and Reconciliation to improve the quality of care for Indigenous Peoples living with arthritis across Turtle Island (now known as Canada).
The Arthritis Community Learning Circle
Arthritis disproportionately affects Indigenous Peoples. Yet the path to culturally appropriate and sensitive arthritis care for Indigenous Peoples in Canada is hindered by the inequitable structures that exist. To address these care gaps and optimize health outcomes of Indigenous people with arthritis, the arthritis community in Canada – rheumatology researchers, health care professionals, and patient organizations and their members – has established an Arthritis Community Learning Circle (ACLC), a safe and trusted space where people can learn from Indigenous leaders to better understand and collaborate on Truth and Reconciliation. Members come from diverse backgrounds with a shared aim to act and make meaningful contributions to the health Calls to Action #18 to 24 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report. The ACLC is committed to supporting Indigenous leadership to design and deliver healthcare programs and services that are respectful of and aligned with the specific needs, preferences and values of Indigenous Peoples living with arthritis.
The ACLC began with reading and discussing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and Calls to Action and Indigenous writings on the Indian Act and Indian residential schools, learning about and practicing true and genuine collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, and seeking out Indigenous mentorship on education and advocacy activities.
Arthritis Community Learning Circle Leadership
Founded by Arthritis Consumer Experts, the ACLC consists of arthritis community leaders from across Canada who are guided by Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox, from the Blood Tribe, within the Blackfoot Confederacy, and her Siksikaitsitapi ways. Dr. Fox has a bachelor’s degree in psychology; a master’s degree in sociology; and a doctoral degree in education. Her dissertation topic “Indian Residential Schools: Perspectives of Blackfoot Confederacy People” explored the experiences of Survivors from the Blackfoot Confederacy from six Indian Residential Schools. Dr. Fox is both directly and indirectly affected by Indian Residential Schools. She is the daughter of two Survivors of an Indian Residential School and is a survivor of Indian Day Schools, herself. She is blessed with four children and six grandchildren.
What the word Indigenous means to us
The ACLC and our Indigenous partners would like to honour and recognize all the diverse and rich Indigenous languages across Turtle Island and around the world.
Arthritis Consumer Experts’ head office is located on the traditional, unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We recognize that First Nations, Metis, and Inuit are diverse, and distinct groups, nations and tribes each have their own unique cultural values and practices. Where possible, we encourage others to be specific when speaking about Indigenous Peoples they are working with. For example, Dr. Fox’s introduction would be: “Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox is from the Blood Tribe, within the Blackfoot Confederacy in Alberta.”
Connecting with “self” and the community
An understanding of Truth and Reconciliation comes from a deep reflection of “self”, one that requires going inwards, moving beyond titles, being vulnerable and open. It is then that a safe and welcoming space can be created to discuss Truth and Reconciliation activities. The ACLC continues to identify key individuals and organizations who are interested to join us and walk with Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox and other leaders of the Indigenous community.
Join the Arthritis Community Learning Circle today by sending an email to feedback@Jointhealth.org
Learn more about the ACLC by visiting the Arthritis Community Learning Circle Call to Action website.
Truth and Reconciliation activities from the Arthritis Community Learning Circle
- Inequities in Arthritis Care in Canada: An intersectional analysis of BIPOC women
- The connections between intergenerational trauma, pain, mental health and addiction, and arthritis with Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox
- ACE National Survey on Arthritis and Health Inequities
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada
- Equity and biases in rheumatology care with Dr. Diane Lacaille
- Arthritis community collaboration on the path towards Truth and Reconciliation
- Cheryl Barnabe on racism against Indigenous Peoples in Alberta ERs
- Terri-Lynn Fox discusses her research work on the experiences of Indian Residential Schools Survivors from the Blackfoot Confederacy
- Learning about National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox
Truth and Reconciliation Retreat with Dr. Fox
Arthritis Community Learning Circle founder and leader, Arthritis Consumer Experts, hosted a Truth and Reconciliation Retreat for ACLC participants on June 20-22, 2023. A report about the Retreat will be published in August 2023.
- Ongoing audit and trauma editing of of Arthritis Consumer Experts’ websites to ensure information provided responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report’s Calls to Action, is culturally sensitive and safe for its visitors.
- Development of the Arthritis Community Learning Circle Call to Action website – an entry point into Truth and Reconciliation for the arthritis community in Canada. The website is a place where the community can safely gather to learn more on their journeys of self-reflection, learning and re-learning to improve their understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ culture, traditions, and ways of knowing and being.
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