The Nursing Undergraduate Society condemns the blatant acts of violence against Black and Indigenous bodies at the hands of the state, and their lack of accountability and redress in the aftermath. The deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Chantel Moore, Rodney Levi, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmad Aubrey, Shukri Adbi, and Tony McDade have once again shown the greater public the fatal consequences of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism that exist within the institutions that are considered the foundations of our society. Racism is a determinant of health. Addressing anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism is our responsibility as healthcare providers. It requires us to look within our own profession, our academic institution and demand systemic change.
We are currently living through the largest civil movement in history and we would be remiss to not actively participate in dismantling systems of oppression that have continued to marginalize and harm Black and Indigenous people. We recognize the importance of our role as nurses, gatekeepers to healthcare and wellbeing, and also agents of an institution that has historically been complicit in harm. These institutions include the Faculty of Nursing where we receive the foundations of our clinical practice that will shape our clinical decision making, relational skills and understandings of social systems that impact the health of our clients. The insidious effects of systemic racism permeate across our institution through differential treatment of racialized students, and curriculum that is not representative of the needs of Black and Indigenous communities.
As a student group we acknowledge our responsibility to address social inequities and our capacity to mobilize and enact sustainable change within the academic institution – as such, we unequivocally support Black and Indigenous students, materially, professionally and personally and will contribute to and sustain their initiatives in addressing the necessary changes that need to occur within the Faculty of Nursing to appropriately address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. Moving forward NUS will be initiating an subcommittee addressing anti-Black, anti-Indigenous racism to ensure that specific attention is directed toward this important work. We also intend for this committee to open channels of communication between nursing students, NUS, the faculty and the institution to address critical matters and student concerns. Through these efforts, we hope to bring about meaningful, transformational changes that will help begin the process of healing for Black and Indigenous students at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.
The Nursing Undergraduate Society