June 27 is Canadian Multiculturalism Day.
Each year, Canadians celebrate their diverse heritage and the contribution of many cultures to the growth and development of the country.
This year, Multiculturalism Day comes on the heels of the discoveries of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, and an estimated 751 unmarked graves at the Marieval Indian Residential School in Cowessess, Saskatchewan.
At Alberni Valley Hospice Society, we recognize that the strength of our community lies in its diversity, and the need to honour grief and loss in ways that are culturally meaningful to the communities affected.
The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support, including emotional and crisis referral, for former Residential School students: 1-866-925-4419.
Those impacted can also reach out for immediate support to the Ku-Uus 24hr Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717.
Additionally, we are sharing resources for specific groups seeking support with advance care planning, palliative care, and grief support.
At LivingMyCulture.ca, people from various cultures share their stories and wisdom about living with serious illness, end of life and grief to support others.
LivingMyCulture also has a resource for those working in healthcare. Lack of cultural knowledge - or failure to ask what is important to a patient and family - impacts care, makes the experience more difficult, and grief more complex.
Advance Care Planning resources:
HealthLinkBC has Advance Care Planning information available in English, Chinese, Farsi, French, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
They also offer an “Aboriginal Health Advance Care Planning Brochure” and the BC Elders Guide.
The purpose of the Guide is to make sure that Elders, their families, and caregivers have access to information about the programs, services, and resources they need, and was put out by First Nations Health Authority and SeniorsBC.