Graphic with a purple rectangle across the middle that reads 'Statement of Acknowledgement' with a white feather on either side of the text.

Statement of Acknowledgement: Taking restorative action to support Truth and Reconciliation

Shared on behalf of Michael Garron Hospital’s Board of Directors and Executive Team

At Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), we endeavor to live out our values of compassion, integrity, respect, inclusion and courage. This means being accountable for our actions and taking ownership and responsibility, especially when our actions cause harm to others.

In late 2021, MGH was made aware of concerns from community members regarding the Indigenous identity of the individual responsible for leading the hospital’s Indigenous services and programming. These concerns were taken seriously and acted upon. This individual retired and is no longer working in the organization. In May 2022, MGH announced the closure of The Aboriginal Healing Program space on 2 College St. while seeking a new arrangement and partnership for Indigenous programs and services. The hospital gained a deeper understanding of its impact and accountability to the community and will implement more rigorous processes and policies to verify proof of Indigenous identity.

In fall of 2022, in order to take restorative action and to rebuild trust with the Indigenous community, we embarked on a community-led process of Truth and Reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Toronto and across the traditional territory.

A Community Reconciliation Advisory Group was formed to provide advice to guide the actions of MGH that supports healing and Reconciliation and meets the needs of Indigenous communities. The Advisory Group is comprised of external Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Elders and health partners who are giving their time, efforts and wisdom to support this work. Representatives of the Advisory Group do not represent their nation, employer or any other affiliation.

We are deeply humbled and grateful to the Advisory Group for their guidance, counsel and commitment to helping the hospital explore, understand and acknowledge difficult but important truths.

In the coming weeks and months, we will work under the guidance of the Advisory Group to establish a community-sharing process to listen and better understand past harms and the impacts on First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients, their families, MGH staff and others who may have been impacted. We recognize that this is a necessary step towards healing, Truth and Reconciliation.

We believe MGH can be a place of healing and wellness, and provide a welcoming, supportive and culturally safe environment for First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members in Toronto.

We will continue to reflect upon and accept responsibility and accountability for past harm, acknowledge and seek truth, and learn from the community. We hope this work will support continued community engagement and the future creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.

We believe that working together with the Advisory Group, staff, leaders and community, we can contribute to rebuilding MGH’s Indigenous programs and services and a culture of transformation, decolonization, inclusivity and cultural safety at MGH.

Members of the Community Reconciliation Advisory Group include:

Bob Goulais, Co-Facilitator                 Diane Longboat, Co-Facilitator

Alita Sauve                                            Les Harper

Jeff D’Hondt                                          Patti Pettigrew

Emily Simmonds                                  Michael Milward

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