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The BC Ombudsperson invites Indigenous service providers and Indigenous communities to collaborate on promoting fairness in provincial and local public service delivery

Friday, December 18, 2020
The BC Ombudsperson invites Indigenous service providers and Indigenous communities to collaborate on promoting fairness in provincial and local public service delivery

Victoria– If you provide services to Indigenous people in BC or you are part of an Indigenous community in BC, the Ombudsperson wants to work with you to promote the fair treatment of Indigenous peoples by provincial and local government bodies across the province. The Ombudsperson will be hosting a series of virtual round-table discussions with Indigenous service providers in the new year, with round-tables with Indigenous leaders and community members to follow in Spring, 2020.

“My goal with these round table events is to really listen to what’s working and what’s not when it comes to service delivery, and to share information about what our office can do to help promote fairness in public service delivery for Indigenous people,” said Jay Chalke, BC’s Ombudsperson adding his office’s mandate is to independently and impartially investigate complaints from the public when they feel they have been treated unfairly by provincial and local public sector organizations.

Round table discussion will focus on how the BC Ombudsperson can:

  • listen and learn about Indigenous service providers’ perspectives regarding the fairness of services provided by public bodies under the Ombudsperson’s jurisdiction;
  • work effectively with Indigenous service providers to ensure Indigenous peoples are treated fairly when they receive services from the provincial government, local governments and other public bodies;
  • ensure Indigenous individuals across the province are aware of the Ombudsperson’s services and know how to access our office if they have a complaint; and
  • meet the diverse needs of Indigenous peoples in an Indigenous Communities Service Plan for the Office of the Ombudsperson, a plan that will set out the Ombudsperson’s commitments to working with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous service providers.

The BC Ombudsperson’s Office is independent of government and by law can investigate a range of complaints from the public about provincial and local government bodies. The Ombudsperson has jurisdiction over a number of public sector organizations that deliver services to Indigenous peoples, including: provincial government ministries, schools, hospitals, local governments and Crown corporations like BC Hydro and ICBC. The office also investigates allegations of serious wrongdoing in the workplace from BC government ministry employees. The Ombudsperson’s consultation and training team is available to help public sector organizations embed fair practices into their complaint handling, decision-making and service delivery. The BC Ombudsperson does not have oversight over services provided by the federal government.

“Whether it’s not getting a service you think you deserve, a disagreement with a decision that impacts you, or waiting too long to hear back from an organization about your concern, these are the kinds of things we may be able to help with on an individual level. One person coming forward can benefit many others so if there are issues you think we should know about, we are certainly here to assist.”

Please see list of upcoming virtual round-table discussions below:

Round Table Event Date Time
Indigenous Justice Service Providers January 19, 2021 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Indigenous Child, Youth and Family Service Providers January 20, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Indigenous Education, Housing and Social Service Providers January 25, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Indigenous Health Service Providers January 27, 2021 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Indigenous Natural Resources and Environment Related Service Providers February 4, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
BC Indigenous Nations, Urban Indigenous and Métis communities Dates/Times are currently being planned for Spring, 2021 x

If you would like to participate in a round table event, or would like further information about the BC Ombudsperson’s Indigenous-related work, please contact our Indigenous Liaison Officer, as follows:

Sonya Pighin, Indigenous Liaison Officer
Email: spighin@bcombudsperson.ca
Phone: 236.638.1113

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