The ISU Team humbly and gratefully acknowledges the ancestral, traditional and unceded Indigenous territories where we live, work and play. We invite our site visitors to reflect on their past, present and future participation on the Indigenous lands where they are situated.
Our team has extended our vision to explicitly implement justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (referred to internally as JEDI) in all the work we do. This decision was spurred by increased understanding and acknowledgement of the historic and ongoing impact of Canada’s colonial history, including the greater awareness of the harms against Indigenous children within the Indian Residential School System, set in motion by the unearthing of the children whose lives were lost at residential schools throughout the colonial state of Canada. Human rights issues – such as: the Black Lives Matter movement and the murder of Black bodies; the anti-Asian hate crimes and deaths of the Atlanta spa shootings; the ongoing harms due to the toxic drug supply and the criminalization of people who use drugs; the launch of the In Plain Sight Report; addressing racism towards Indigenous peoples in healthcare across the province; and the ongoing genocide of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – have acted as a catalyst for our dedication to this work. While our efforts are genuine, we recognize this as an ongoing learning process that requires meaningful and active engagement.
In early 2021, the JEDI Council was created to ensure that JEDI principles were embedded across all ISU work. Since then, this group has evolved into a collaborative dialogue and actioning space made up of several ISU team members. The Council meets bi-weekly and is tasked with JEDI specific accountabilities such as engaging in meaningful dialogue, ensuring accountability around integrating JEDI in each workstream and internal ISU processes, managing and facilitating learning through the 8-week reflective process, gathering resources to share across the team, and committing to meaningful relationship building.
8-Week JEDI Reflective Process
The JEDI council has developed innovative and iterative approaches to learning and unlearning through the JEDI reflective processes. The 8-Week Reflective process is engaged in at least once yearly by the entire ISU team. Over the course of 8 weeks, small discussion groups are formed based on shared interest in topics, or shared purpose and approaches to learning. Topics include but are not limited to: intersectionality, racism and discrimination in healthcare, decolonizing practices, mental health, visible and invisible disabilities, 2SLGBTQ2+ experiences, Indigenous stories and movements. At the end of week 8, the ISU team gathers and reflects on their individual and collective learnings.
The ISU has a strong track record of providing support, working in collaboration and co-developing local solutions with health care organizations and providers. A gap exists in that the ISU, and the BC healthcare system as a whole, systematically continue to exclude Communities – groups of people with various intersections who experience historical and ongoing systemic barriers to health and wellness – in our work. The ISU is working towards greater partnership with Communities as we implement and integrate JEDI into our work. An emerging recommendation from our internal JEDI learning is the importance of creating internal structures that allow us to partner with Communities to ensure that our work is relevant, supportive, and guided by the Communities’ priorities.
The ISU JEDI Story