The KT Tent-city Community in Strathcona park has been violently relocated 3 times in 3 months, during a pandemic in which residents are significantly more vulnerable to illness than those in the city who are housed. This community is majority Indigenous. Many residents experience difficulty accessing regular health and wellness resources due to physical or financial limitation and trauma within the colonial and classist framework of our medical system.
Elder Veronica Butler, Indigenous activist Chrissy Brett, and the residents of the community have requested safer healthcare access. We are a group of healthcare workers offering support under their direction in order to improve access to health, wellness, autonomy, and safety for residents.
We need your help to deliver care in a way that responds immediately to the needs of residents, according to residents themselves. We need emergency medical supplies, training supplies, over the counter medications, and wound care supplies. We are there to bridge care from the current healthcare workers available to majority Indigenous healthcare supports.
The police presence at Namegan's tent city necessitated emergency response planning. Now that the community has relocated, the goals have shifted. We aim to train residents to respond to higher acuity situations safely and confidently, with on-call nursing help, and provide 4-6 hours a day of healthcare support for chronic health concerns, with 24 access to safety supplies for residents to use.
Here is a brief outline of our goals of care:
- Indigenous Led and Centred Care: All organizational decisions are determined by Indigenous organizers and Elders and follow Indigenous protocol. We can offer western and non-western medicine. Supporters range from Elders, GP/NP, RN, LPN, TCM Practitioners, Herbalists, and Midwives.
- Support safety and resident agency through training residents in CPR, complex OD Response, Harm Reduction practices.
- Pharmacy delivery and over the counter medical administration: facilitate ease of pharmacy access through our medical tent, delivery, and transport team.
- Maintain a medical tent with accessible HR, wound care, emergency supplies .
- Safely connect/refer to primary or specialized care whenever requested.
- Fill gaps of care: liaising with resources and escorting to appointments.
- Covid-19 quarantine support and safety planning. PPE provision and guidance.
- Referrals to community services for those new to community.
- Safety plan for colonial violence, as most of our providers are non-Indigenous. We have been trained within a colonial health system. Part of safety planning is the development of our own accountability process, and embodiment of the following: this is not our land, nor our space to control.
- Any experience that feels unsafe, culturally or medically, can be brought to an Indigenous liason in the case of any harm caused by a healthcare supporter. Accountability is an essential aspect of care. Residents will have complete control over how they would like to proceed with care delivery if overt or unintended harm occurs. The residents' safety is determined by the residents, and no one else.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!! Funds will be collected through a separate (but personal, not organizational) account and distributed through these supplies, not through payments to healthcare providers. All funds and receipts are kept safe for transparency and are free to be audited by anyone in the community.