Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO responds to discussion on Resolution five at its recent Annual General Meeting

On Friday, June 10, 2022, RNAO welcomed a proposed resolution entitled “Strategies to support learning and change within the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario” for discussion on the floor during its Annual General Meeting. The resolution, put forward by the Indigenous Nurses and Allies Interest Group, calls for the association to create, by way of bylaw change, an additional seat on its board of directors for an Elder/Knowledge Keeper of First Nations, Métis or Inuit background. Seventy-nine per cent of the consultation representatives supported the resolution.

During the discussion of the resolution, a member suggested that Indigenous peoples are one of many interest groups and while, “definitely valued…don’t have to be at every table. They can be there as advisors.” RNAO acknowledges that these comments are racist, rooted in a colonial perspective of Canada’s history and offensive to Indigenous peoples. 

RNAO apologizes for failing to identify and condemn these comments as racist in the moment. Through our work, we strive to follow the path of truth and reconciliation in the hope of being an ally to, and learning from, the Indigenous peoples of this land. In our spiritual journey together, the guidance of an Elder/Knowledge Keeper at our board table will help safeguard RNAO’s ongoing efforts against anti-Indigenous biases and other forms of racism. 

This experience is cause to reflect upon and improve our efforts to be a leader of change against anti-Indigenous racism. We will continue to engage in cultural safety learning to make sure that we provide culturally safe and aware spaces for diverse voices. And, we look forward to implementing the resolution and inviting an Indigenous Elder/Knowledge Keeper to the RNAO board table to walk with us on this path. 

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