“The wolf has long been a symbol of guardianship, loyalty and most of all, spirit. Always present in the shadows having watchful eyes on the territories, ensuring we are safe and reminding us the land is here. Not often is the wolf seen during the day, but most often in the evenings among moonlit skies. Just as the Ombudsperson reflects in the work they do working diligently to ensure the rights of people are met.” – Brianna Dick
The BC Ombudsperson is advancing a decolonial approach in our work with First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous people and communities. We are committed to building and sustaining ongoing relationships rooted in respect, reciprocity and responsibility. Our goal is to strengthen our understanding of who we serve and to recognize with respect Indigenous rights and histories to ensure all Indigenous Peoples across B.C. are treated fairly in the delivery of public services.
We have hired five Ombudsperson Pathfinders who will listen to the issues experienced by First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous people across the province. The Pathfinders will connect with communities to increase awareness of our services and how we help and to identify the best complaint avenues whether it’s the Ombudsperson’s Office or somewhere else.
We are currently holding a series of consultation circles with various regions and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous communities across BC to build relationships and hear how our services can be culturally safe, effective and accessible.
We want to be guided by the capacity of communities to respond in their own time and to participate in a consultation process that works for them. If your community wishes to participate in a circle with us, please contact Jolene Andrew at JAndrew@bcombudsperson.ca
A heartfelt thank you to all participants for sharing their stories with us.
Indigenous Community Services Plan
In 2020/21, the BC Ombudsperson’s Office received funding from the Legislature to develop an Indigenous Community Services Plan (ICSP). The plan aims to strengthen our partnerships with Indigenous service providers, community leaders and individuals to ensure all Indigenous Peoples across the province are treated fairly by provincial and local public authorities under our jurisdiction as set out in the Ombudsperson Act. The ICSP will set out a framework for how the office will work collaboratively with First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous people. Read Phase One of the ICSP.
Addressing Indigenous-Specific Racism in Health Care
The Addressing Racism Review final report highlights the inequitable access to preventative and primary health care services among First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous communities across BC. Indigenous people wishing to share their experiences of racism and discrimination in health care may still do so by contacting Kerrie Reay, who is continuing in her role from the Addressing Racism Investigation. Kerrie will provide callers with the time and understanding to speak of their experiences and concerns, help navigating the complaint processes, help accessing health records and making referrals. You can reach Kerrie by:
Phone: 1-888-600-3078 (Toll-free)