IN HER CIRCLE

Uncovering the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous Women’s Health in BC

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of everyone, extending beyond the direct health effects to those infected, those who have died, and their immediate families. The necessary public health measures implemented to reduce the spread of the virus will continue to impact healthcare, education, the economy, and many other aspects of society, including employment and social interactions. 

Yet, the effects of these consequences have not been felt equally. 

Recognizing the barriers to access, rates of chronic illness, and high levels of racism experienced by Indigenous women before the pandemic (explored in the In Her Words and In Plain Sight reports), we are honoured to partner with Reciprocal Consulting to amplify the voices of Indigenous women in this moment.

Within In Her Circle, Reciprocal Consulting uncovers Indigenous women’s experiences during the pandemic; their stories of isolation, of access issues, of resilience, and of community, and provides a Gift Bundle of recommendations for a future where Indigenous women have equitable access to high-quality healthcare when, where and how they need it.

This report forms part of our Unmasking Gender Inequity series, and also marks an important commitment by the BC Women’s Health Foundation to actively prioritize Indigenous women’s health and operationalize the recommendations within. 

THE BC WOMEN’S HEALTH FOUNDATION’S COMMITMENT

We are dedicated to supporting the operationalization of these recommendations through our Indigenous Women’s Health Fund. With these recommendations as a focus, we will work alongside stakeholders throughout the province to develop an inclusive program dedicated to their operationalization through capacity building, programming, advocacy, education, and awareness initiatives. All processes related to these funds and granting will be led by Indigenous women in concert with the BC Women’s Health Foundation.

We will continue to work closely with the Indigenous Women’s Health Program at BC Women’s Hospital, a team that is dedicated to delivering best practices in caring for the health and well-being of women at BC Women’s Hospital and beyond.

In addition, we are honoured to directly support our partners at the Ending Violence Association of BC, who fund ten Indigenous sexual assault response services in various locations across BC. These community-based, emergency sexual assault response services are trauma-informed and culturally appropriate and are beginning to fill the gap in much-needed support for survivors. 

Today, we call upon the wider healthcare system and society to identify their role within these recommendations and play their part in ensuring Indigenous women receive equitable access to healthcare.

Join us on the journey.


To discuss how we can work together with your organization  to operationalize these recommendations, please contact Dr. Victoria Gay, Senior Director of Strategy at victoria.gay@bcwomensfoundation.org 

Content Warning: The In Her Circle report covers topics including but not limited to colonial violence, gender-based violence, and substance use. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free anywhere in BC at 1-800-588-8717.