Quebec Indigenous relations minister tables bill to introduce cultural safety in healthcare

Staff in the health-care network will now be obliged to take account of the Indigenous peoples’ cultural and historical realities in any interaction with them.

On Friday, the Minister responsible for Relations with First Nations and Inuit, Ian Lafreni√®re, introduced Bill 32, “establishing the cultural safety approach within the health and social services network.”

Under the bill, all establishments in the health and social services network will be required to adopt a cultural safety approach towards Indigenous people.

“This approach involves taking account of their cultural and historical realities in all interactions with them,” it explains.

The bill obliges all establishments to adopt safe practices.

These practices include taking into account the cultural and historical realities of Indigenous people, fostering partnerships with them and being welcoming and inclusive towards them.

The government will also be able to prescribe, by regulation, the terms and conditions allowing Indigenous people to practice certain professional activities reserved under the professional code.

The aim is to promote Indigenous access to professional mental health services, and to promote the culturally safe nature of these services, the bill states.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 9, 2023.

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