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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Most Read