MGH’s campus transformation continues with major renovation work this spring. Patients and visitors can expect to experience noise, hallway closures and detours around the hospital. Read more about our campus transformation.
Indigenous Health Services
Last updated: July 13, 2023
Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) continues to advance Truth and Reconciliation efforts with Indigenous communities following the closure of The Aboriginal Healing Program on May 1, 2022.
UPDATE ON our journey
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 for the organization.
In order to take restorative action and 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.
Acknowledging truth must come before Reconciliation. MGH has learned of the harmful impact on community members who sought trusted advice, counsel, care and meaningful connection to their spiritual identity and Indigenous way of being. The hospital has gained a deeper understanding of its impact and accountability to the community and commits to implementing more rigorous processes and policies to verify proof of Indigeneity.
MGH has prepared a Statement of Acknowledgement that takes accountability for the harm imparted on clients and anyone impacted by their association and/or participation in The Aboriginal Healing Program. This statement will initiate a vital process of community engagement, listening and healing to help inform the future creation of a Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.
TAKING RESTORATIVE ACTION TO SUPPORT TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
At 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.
- Fall 2022: We sought expert advice from Bob Goulais, Indigenous Consultant, and Diane Longboat, Traditional Healer, on how to establish a community engagement process with Indigenous communities.
- January 2023: Under Bob’s and Diane’s leadership, we formed the Community Reconciliation Advisory Group to guide the actions of MGH.
- May 2023: We are taking responsibility and acknowledging the harm caused to others through a written Statement of Acknowledgement on behalf of the MGH Board of Directors and Executive Team.
- Spring and summer 2023: We extended an offer to facilitate Indigenous Community Sharing and Healing Circles to those involved with or who received care at The Aboriginal Healing Program.
Through this community engagement process, we hope to:
- Take restorative action by accepting responsibility and accountability for hurts and actions of the past.
- Rebuild MGH’s Indigenous services and programming and a culture of transformation, decolonization, inclusivity and cultural safety at MGH.
- Work toward creating a Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan by Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.
about the community reconciliation advisory group
In January 2023, 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 healing, Truth and Reconciliation.
Members of the Community Reconciliation Advisory Group include:
Bob Goulais, Co-Facilitator Diane Longboat, Co-Facilitator
Les Harper Patti Pettigrew
Jeff D’Hondt Michael Milward