Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 18: Health (18-24)

Province acts to address Indigenous racism in health care

October 9, 2023

NationTalk: VICTORIA – (Oct. 6) – A Ministry of Health progress report marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to dismantle Indigenous-specific racism within B.C.’s health-care system.

This 24-month update highlights the implementation progress on the 24 recommendations made in the In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care report, which aims to make culturally safe health care a reality for all people in B.C.

“Every single person in B.C. deserves to be able to safely access the health care they need when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We continue to make progress on all 24 recommendations from the In Plain Sight report, but we know there is more we can do to eradicate Indigenous-specific racism from our health-care system. Nobody should have to experience judgment, rejection, abuse or harm in receiving the health care they need, and we are committed to making that a reality for all people in B.C.”

In May 2021, First Nations and Métis leaders, health-system partner leaders and health-care experts from around the province formed the In Plain Sight task team to focus on implementation of the 24 recommendations.

Since the initial release of the In Plain Sight report, government has completed many of the key elements within the recommendations with the rest underway, including guiding the development of the new Health Professions and Occupations Act (Bill 36), which received royal assent in November 2022. The bill lays out anti-discrimination measures that aim to strengthen the response to Indigenous-specific racism in health care, enhance complaints processes and make the health system culturally safe for Indigenous Peoples and all people in British Columbia. With the conclusion of the task team’s work, progress toward full implementation of the In Plain Sight recommendations, including public reporting, will be continued under the Declaration Act Action Plan.

The In Plain Sight 24-month progress update will function as a snapshot of the work that has been done and shows the Ministry of Health commitment to fostering a health-care environment that is equitable, inclusive, safe and free from discrimination.

“I want to congratulate the task team and all of our system partners for their extraordinary work implementing the 24 recommendations,” Dix said. “I look forward to continuing to work with Indigenous leaders, health-system partners and health authorities throughout B.C. on this vital work. I encourage everybody to read this progress report to learn about the foundational work that the task team members produced.”

Learn More:

Read the 24-month progress report here:

Read the full In Plain Sight report here:

Read a summary version of the report here:

To read about the task team, visit:

To learn about the Declaration Act Action Plan, visit:


Ministry of Health
Media Relations
250 952-1887


Actions taken in response to In Plain Sight report

In response to the In Plain Sight report, government passed the Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA), previously known as Bill 36, to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, to break cycles of systemic racism throughout the health sector, and to support and recruit Indigenous health providers to bolster the system’s inclusivity.

  • The HPOA’s goal is to ensure that B.C.’s health-care system continues to provide the best possible care to the people and families that live in this province, and it does that by strengthening protections for patients.
  • In response to a recommendation made in the In Plain Sight report, the HPOA received royal assent in the B.C. Legislative Assembly on Nov. 24, 2022, with provisions to address Indigenous-specific racism in the health-care system.
  • The Ministry of Health worked for over a year in consultation and co-operation with numerous Indigenous leadership groups to draft this legislation.
  • HPOA is just one facet of the fight against Indigenous-specific racism in the health-care system. Other work continues, including creating safe spaces and processes for Indigenous people to self-identify when bringing complaints and issues forward. There is also significant work underway on strengthening cultural safety and humility training for everyone in the health-care system.
  • The HPOA makes numerous changes to how health professionals are regulated in this province with significant focus on dealing with discrimination and cultural safety and humility.
  • This was also done to align with the requirements of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act that mandates the government to bring laws into alignment with UNDRIP.
  • Through the HPOA, B.C.’s government has defined Indigenous-specific racism as a harm, for the first time in history.
  • This will make it clear that people have a right to be free of discrimination including based on Indigenous identity when receiving health services in B.C. The protected grounds of discrimination link to the B.C. Human Rights Code. This means that in addition to discrimination based on Indigenous identity, the HPOA will also address discrimination based on other overlapping grounds such as gender, sex and sexual orientation.
  • The HPOA clarifies that discrimination is misconduct/actionable conduct. This includes discrimination based on the protected ground of “Indigenous identity.”

In response to recommendation 24 from the In Plan Sight report, government formed a task team to propel and ensure the implementation of all recommendations.

  • This In Plain Sight task team, represented by 31 First Nations and Métis leaders, health system partner leaders and health-care experts from around the province, first convened in May 2021 and had a two-year term thatconcluded in June 2023.
  • The task team and the Ministry of Health’s Indigenous Health and Reconciliation division worked together to ensure continuing progress on implementing the 24 recommendations of the In Plain Sight report.
  • This two-year progress report is the final deliverable for the task team.


Ministry of Health
Media Relations
250 952-1887