Terry Teegee, B.C. regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. First Nations leaders ‘disgusted’ by allegations of racist blood-alcohol guessing game

‘Enough is enough,’ says Regional Chief Terry Teegee

Your head is in the sand if you believe Canada is free from racism, according to the Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations.

Terry Teegee told Black Press Media in an interview Friday (June 19) that he was disgusted, angered and surprised when Health Minister Adrian Dix announced earlier that day an investigation into allegations of emergency room staff “playing a game to guess the blood-alcohol level of Indigenous patients,” and possibly others.

READ MORE: B.C. launches investigation into allegations of racist blood-alcohol guessing game in ER

“If you’re questioning that there isn’t racism in Canada here is a perfect example,” Teegee said. “I think there is no question that there’s an issue here in this country that racism is alive and well and exists.”

Those emotions Teegee felt have lingered for the past few months following high-profile reports of Indigenous, Black and people of colour being killed or injured during police altercations – both on home soil and across the border.

He said he believes such incidents like the alleged Price is Right emergency room game continue because society allows it.

“I think right now as we see the voices of minorities come up as a result of George Floyd and a number of other incidents in the last year, people are fed up and are saying enough is enough.”

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s former child and youth watchdog, has been appointed by Dix to investigate the allegations.

The First Nations Leadership Council and First Nations Health Council said the probe must be transparent and seek to “uncover the extensiveness of this abhorrent behavior.”

“We fully expect that those who committed these serious breaches of trust will be held accountable for their actions and, pending the outcomes of the investigation, have their medical licenses revoked for compromising the dignity, care and lives of Indigenous patients,” the leadership council said in a statement.

READ MORE: Teach Black history to fight racism, starting in elementary school: B.C. students

Dix and Premier John Horgan have both expressed outrage regarding the alleged racist incidents.

In a joint statement, heads of the five health authorities in the province pledged to remove racism from B.C.’s health care system, noting there is still much work to do.

“We remain actively engaged with Indigenous partners on immediate and longer-term action plans to combat anti-Indigenous racism. Together, we will make changes to ensure the health care system in B.C. is safe and equitable for all.”

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani, Black Press Media


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

British ColumbiaHealthcareracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surfrider Pacific Rim: Flash Clean Fridays

Grab your reusable gloves, bags and buckets and join Surfrider Pacific Rim’s newest initiative.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation says more resources needed to keep Tribal Parks open during pandemic

Tribal Park Allies program needs more buy-in from Tofino businesses.

Tofino General Hospital Foundation raising funds for new equipment

“The doctors and nurses are worked off their feet.”

Tofino mayor Josie Osborne seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Mid Island-Pacific Rim

Longtime B.C. NDP MLA Scott Fraser announced on Monday that he will not be seeking reelection

Tourists’ vehicles vandalized in Tofino

Community steps up to support visitors.

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read