“The history of Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people is dark. It is still in society, how do these little kids have to face this, especially First Nations kids? Kids can get very mad and deal with this poorly. It is sad.”
Indigenous dental professionals will soon have a platform through which they can network with other Indigenous colleagues and contribute to improving the delivery of oral health services in communities across Canada.
The newly-established Indigenous Dental Association of Canada is working to bring together the Indigenous dental community to support its vision of reconciliation. This will provide Indigenous dental professionals with a community through which they can share resources, knowledge and experiences, while supporting approaches to dentistry rooted in traditional ways of knowing.
Through its Indigenous Oral Health Knowledge Transfer Project, Indigenous Dental Association of Canada will create tools and resources for communities to improve oral health. This will include a multimedia project aimed at raising awareness about oral health care and services in Indigenous communities. The project will also seek to bridge cultural understanding and combat racial biases in receiving oral health care.
“Together, these initiatives will contribute to safer, culturally-informed dental services for Indigenous peoples, while also creating a network of Indigenous dental professionals from across the country”
A 2020 report into anti-Indigenous racism in health care found that widespread and insidious racism in all corners of B.C.’s health-care system deter Indigenous people from seeking care, causing more health issues to go untreated and resulting in more severe outcomes.
Status First Nations people in Canada are entitled to many dental services free of charge through Indian and Northern Affairs.
Indigenous people in Canada experience nearly twice the rate of dental disease compared to non-Indigenous people, in part because of limited access to dental care and nutritious foods.