There are more than 300 million indigenous peoples in the world, on every continent and representing many cultures. However, indigenous peoples are over represented among the world’s vulnerable groups, suffering low incomes, living in poor conditions, and lacking adequate access to employment, education, safe water, food and health care services. Nurses have an important role in improving the health status of indigenous people throughout the world through the delivery of culturally appropriate health care and the development of quality health services.
As we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on 9 August, ICN calls on its members to promote cultural competence both in the way health care services are delivered, and in the behaviour of health care providers with respect to Indigenous Peoples. Some of our members are already doing just that:
At its biennial convention in June, the Canadian Nurses Association expressed its support that nursing be included in all levels of First Nations Health Council/Authorities’ planning for the delivery of health-care services to First Nations/Aboriginal communities; and further, that First Nations/Aboriginal Nurses be included in the planning and delivery of those services.
The New Zealand Nurses Organization’s Te Rau Kōkiri campaign aims to achieve pay parity for Māori and Iwi health workers, who earn up to 25% less than their colleagues in hospital settings. Their goal is to ensure that the Māori and Iwi provider workforce is valued equitably and to encourage that workforce to remain in the vitally important Māori community health sector. Pay parity will mean better health and well-being for all New Zealanders. You can find out more about their campaign on: www.nzno.org.nz/home/campaigns/te_rau_kōkiri
The Australian College of Nursing (formerly the Royal College of Nursing Australia) offers scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the field of Indigenous health. The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme aims to assist Indigenous students to obtain professional qualifications and take their skills and knowledge back to Indigenous communities in need of quality health care.
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