A new Indigenous Healing Space is now open at the Victoria Hospital campus of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
The space was created in partnership with Atlohsa Family Healing Services (Atlohsa) with the hope of improving the quality of care that Indigenous patients and families receive.
“Providing holistic, culturally appropriate care to our community is our responsibility at Atlohsa and it is an honour to collaborate with LHSC on this important initiative,” says Raymond Deleary, Executive Director of Atlohsa.
“We look forward to helping LHSC staff and physicians build trusting relationships with Indigenous patients by providing cultural and trauma-informed, safe care.”
The Healing Space is a response to two Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada recommendations for health care:
“To address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harms caused by residential schools,” by recognizing "the value of Aboriginal healing practices and use them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients in collaboration with Aboriginal healers and Elders, where requested by Aboriginal patients,” reads the commission.
The space features a mural called Ka-Bzindaadmin, created by an 18-year-old, self-taught, local Indigenous artist, Tsista Kennedy from Beausoleil First Nation, and Oneida Nation of the Thames.
The mural depicts the coming together of Indigenous and Western approaches to health care.
“The concept for this mural was to create a piece of art that represents what ‘Hope’ might look like. How could ‘Hope’ be visualized if Indigenous Peoples had a Voice that was heard when we shared our way of healing and wellness in a health-care institution. In this regard, this piece illustrates how our combined ‘Voices’ can come from different histories and different beginnings and in the spirit of kindness, work together to create a new present and a healthier future,” said Kennedy in a statement provided to CTV News.