Hospital Joins Unified Approach to New Anti-Racism and Inclusion Coalition

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was one of 11 major organizations to sign a Thunder Bay Anti-Racism & Inclusion Accord on June 19. The Accord signifies a commitment by each organization to establish goals, work together to address racism and discrimination in the community, and report on successes.

“Our Hospital is committed to Indigenous Health equity and reconciliation. We have made it a priority in both our Hospital`s and our Research Institute`s Strategic Plans, with Directions that focus on improving the health of Indigenous patients and families, as well as fostering a safer and more welcoming environment,” said Jean Bartkowiak, Hospital President and CEO. “This Anti-Racism Accord is in line with our value of Respect, and I am proud that our Hospital is part of the Coalition.”

Each organization involved, including our Hospital, commits to:

  1. Address racism against Indigenous and racialized persons by setting short- and long-term goals to meet the calls to action or recommendations.
  2. Support an ongoing process of truth & reconciliation throughout their organization and in our community by developing and maintaining respectful relations with Indigenous governments, organizations and individuals,
  3. Report on our goals annually, beginning in June 2019.

The Indigenous community is the fastest growing population in Northwestern Ontario and experiences unique health challenges and barriers with significantly worse health status than the rest of the population. In response, our Hospital has already implemented numerous improvements, such as:

  • Indigenous Patient Navigators to assist and advocate for Indigenous patients, particularly for those who don’t speak English;
  • Designated space where traditional Indigenous ceremonies and practices can be conducted, including smudging;
  • Traditional language and culture lessons to all staff and volunteers;
  • Respect education for staff;
  • Recognition of traditional lands with the Fort William First Nation flag at our Hospital;
  • Engagement with Indigenous partners to guide our efforts to improve Indigenous population health;
  • Partnerships with Indigenous health organizations.

To learn more about what our Hospital is doing to create a more welcoming environment for all patients, please visit To learn more about the Anti-Racism and Inclusion Coalition, please visit