Surrey Memorial Hospital Medical Staff Association

A Physician’s Guide to Resources to Start Truth and Reconciliation

Dear Colleagues,

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th honours the Survivors and the thousands of children who never returned home from residential schools. This is a tragic and painful history with ongoing effects that we continue to see in our healthcare system today. September 30th also marks Orange Shirt Day, which supports reconciliation and commits us to the enduring truth that Every Child Matters. The Reconciliation process is important for all Canadians because it’s about the basics of how we treat each other as fellow human beings. Reconciliation is about the kind of relationships and communities we want to build for future generations. 

As physicians, we can recognize the impact of generational trauma on a patient’s health and wellbeing. We see how this affects our patients in our clinics and hospitals. Reconciliation may seem like an insurmountable task, however there are small actions we can each take that can add up to make a large impact. One small step we can all take is to start understanding the history. As it can be challenging finding a place to start, I hope this list of resources can be a helpful place to begin in the search for truth.  

For without truth, we cannot have reconciliation. 

Thank you for your dedication to healthcare and your support this weekend with Orange Shirt Day and the Teddy Bear Distribution,

Dr. Jennafer Wilson


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action 

The policy recommendations are meant to aid the healing process by acknowledging the history and preventing further abuse. 


CBC’s Beyond 94: Tracking Canada’s progress on the 94 Calls to Action 

See how Canada is making progress on the Calls to Action. 


National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Residential School History 


Native Land 

Explore this interactive map to learn which Indigenous groups’ traditional territories you live, work and play. Discover what languages have been spoken there and understand the treaties that apply to your area. 

View the map on Native Land here


Historica Canada: Residential Schools Podcast 

This three-part podcasts hosted by Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, an Indigenous journalist, commemorates the history and legacy of residential schools. It serves to honour the stories of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Survivors, their families and their communities. 


Video of Chief Robert Joseph 

Chief Robert Joseph, Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, shares his experience as a residential school survivor and the importance of truth and reconciliation in Canada. 


How to Start the Conversation

Start a conversation about reconciliation with this guide from Reconciliation Canada.

View and download the PDF on the Reconciliation Canada website here


Traditional Wellness Experience for Healthcare Practitioners

The First Nations Health Authority, along with the First Nations Communities of the Fraser Salish Region, invite Healthcare providers to join them to hear origin stories, experience community based traditional wellness practices, understand the deep historical roots of ongoing issues stemming from colonialism, and to appreciate First Nations People’s cultural identity and relationships with the land.

View and download the PDF here

Medical staff at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre