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Indigenous Health Organizations Launch RISE ABOVE RACISM Campaign.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Ottawa, April 2023 - In an effort to bring awareness and change to the Canadian healthcare system for Indigenous peoples, the First Nations Health Managers Association, First Peoples Wellness Circle and Thunderbird Partnership Foundation are excited to announce the launch of the newest awareness campaign, “Rise Above Racism” (RAR). The RAR campaign, produced by NationTalk, calls on allies across the nation and brings to the forefront the issues of anti-Indigenous racism within the Canadian Healthcare system. The startling fact that fully 78% of Indigenous people have experienced racism in healthcare must be addressed Source: ‘Share Your Story’Indigenous-Specific Racism & Discrimination in Health CareAcross the Champlain Region: Summary Report.©Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, 2022

The facts don't lie. Research has shown that 76% of Indigenous Peoples felt they would have received better service if they had hidden their Indigenous identity. Furthermore, of the 78% who reported experiencing racism in healthcare, 73% felt their experience had negatively impacted their mental well-being. Colonial practices that take place in the Canadian healthcare system negatively impact the health and life expectancy of Indigenous Peoples, who live 10 years less than the average Canadian. Source: ‘Share Your Story’Indigenous-Specific Racism & Discrimination in Health CareAcross the Champlain Region: Summary Report.©Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, 2022

“I encourage everyone to check out the powerful “RISE Above Racism” campaign,” said the Honourable Patty Hajdu P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services. “The messages are often hard to hear, but for the people who experience racism on a regular basis, it’s even harder to live through. We can all be allies to end racism in healthcare settings. I encourage all health professionals and employees in health care settings to learn and listen, to challenge harmful and dangerous attitudes and to make the changes in your workplaces at every level so that Indigenous Peoples can feel and be safe when accessing health services."

The Rise Above Racism (RAR) campaign aims to call upon allies in the healthcare system to begin the long journey of change to create a culturally safe, equitable and accessible healthcare system for all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples in Canada.

The campaign’s public service announcement outreach will work with all national media partners to use radio commercials, TV commercials, and print advertising to support the messages. There will be an extensive social media and digital campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The website and the hashtag #RISEABOVERACISM2023 will be central in bringing to the forefront the urgent issue of anti-Indigenous racism in the Canadian Healthcare system. The Public Service Announcement assets will also be offered to mainstream media for their use.

For more information and to book an interview with Marion Crowe, CEO, First Nations Health Managers Association, Dr. Brenda Restoule, PhD, CEO of First Peoples Wellness Circle or Dr. Carol Hopkins, CEO, Thunderbird Partnership Foundation - please contact the following:

Note: Interviews in French available upon request

Kylie Thompson

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

First Nations Health Managers Association


Caroline Parnell-Barry,


Thunderbird Partnership Foundation,

Haley Laronde

Senior Communications Lead,

First Peoples Wellness Circle

About the First Nations Health Managers Association

Created in 2010, the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) is a national association committed to excellence in expanding health management capacity for First Nations organizations. We are responsible for providing training, certification, and professional development opportunities in health management. First Nations Health Managers Association | FNHMA

About Thunderbird Partnership Foundation

The Thunderbird Partnership Foundation is a leading culturally centred voice across Canada on First Nations mental wellness, substance use and addictions. The organization supports an integrated and wholistic approach to healing and wellness serving First Nations and various levels of government, through research, training and education, policy and partnerships, and communications. Thunderbird strives to support culture-based outcomes of Hope, Belonging, Meaning and Purpose for First Nations individuals, families and communities. Thunderbird’s mandate is to implement the Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada (HOS) and the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum (FNMWC) framework. The Thunderbird Partnership Foundation is a division of the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation Inc.

About the First Peoples Wellness Circle

First Peoples Wellness Circle (FPWC) is a national not-for-profit corporation that seeks to walk with and support First Peoples and communities to share collective intelligence for healing, peace-making, and to live a good life. FPWC advocates for collaborative transformative change to create pathways to wellness and whole health for First Peoples shaped by diverse Indigenous cultural lenses. Our work focuses on implementation of the First Nation Mental Wellness Continuum Framework and building the capacity of the First Nation mental wellness workforce. First Peoples Wellness Circle (


Les organisations autochtones en santé lancent la campagne « S’ÉLEVER AU-DESSUS DU RACISME » et lancent un appel aux alliés du système d