National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21 2022

Date: June 20, 2022                                                                              CLIFF: 1063785

File: 195-20

To: All BCEHS Employees/Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE Local 873 Members

From: Leanne Heppell, ChiefAmbulance Officer, BCEHS and Troy Clifford, Provincial President, APBC

RE: National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21, 2022

We are grateful to live, work and be in relationship with First Nations from across many traditional and unceded territories, covering all regions of British Columbia.

Tomorrow (June 21) we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, and recognize the unique heritage and diverse cultures of Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) people across our province and within BCEHS. We encourage all BCEHS staff to take the opportunity to learn more about Indigenous peoples and their history (see resources below), and to participate in local events to celebrate the day in your communities if possible. We also encourage you to wear your orange epaulettes or pins in support of Indigenous people and patients as you go about your workday.

Addressing Indigenous racism and discrimination is essential for BCEHS. We recognize inequities in care provided to First Nations and Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia. Through engagement with our partners, including the First Nations Health Authority and Indigenous community health leadership, BCEHS will provide interfacility transportation, emergency care, and community services with core principles of equity, cultural safety, and humility for Indigenous peoples in B.C. This work will build upon key foundational documents, which are listed below. We encourage all staff to spend some time with these important documents. We are also working with PHSA Indigenous Health to provide anti-Indigenous racism training for all employees, this course it currently being piloted, with plans for a provincial rollout.

We recognize that BCEHS has more to do to ensure each person who asks for care or services from BCEHS is treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. We are committed to taking tangible action to ensure that culturally appropriate care is provided to our Indigenous patients and their families and to become a more diverse and inclusive employer. More on this will be announced in the coming months.

We have many amazing people working at BCEHS and we would like to share a few stories from some of our Indigenous employees – thank you to Natalee, Stu, Kaoru, Andrea, and Dakota, for sharing your words with us and for your service to your patients and colleagues. If you are an Indigenous employee at BCEHS and would like to share your story, please email – we will be featuring employee profiles in coming issues of the BCEHS newsletter.


Leanne Heppell
EVP and Chief Ambulance Officer BC Emergency Health Services Provincial Health Services Authority

Troy Clifford Provincial President Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE Local 873