November 15, 2021 — Anti-Black racism is a public health emergency in Canada that has created and reinforced serious health and social inequities for Black Canadians. For too long we have rested comfortably on the false narrative that systemic racism did not exist in our country or our profession; over the course of the past two years, this reality has been harshly exposed.
Today, the Canadian Nurses Association, along with leaders of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, Canadian Black Nurses Alliance, Canadian Black Nurses Network, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, Canadian Nursing Students’ Association, Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada, Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba, Coalition of African, Caribbean and Black Nurses in British Columbia, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia, Quebec Nurses Association, and WeRPN Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario, are releasing a Nursing Declaration Against Anti-Black Racism in Nursing and Health Care.
Similar to the Nursing Declaration Against Anti-Indigenous Racism in Nursing and Health Care, which was released in June 2021, this declaration will set the context for a major response by nurses and lays out principles and actions for which individuals, nursing organizations, and the nursing profession will be held accountable. The intention is for the declaration to be a living document that helps our respective organizations take meaningful action to decolonize the nursing profession and ensure the profession can continue to provide safe, compassionate, and ethical care to Black and other racialized communities.
The declaration lays out that as nurses, we will no longer be complacent or silent.
The group of associations will convene at the First National Summit on Racism in Nursing and Health Care on November 24, 2021, where the anti-Indigenous and anti-Black declarations will guide the conversation.