The Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Statement Against Racism

As members of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CACAP), we are joining in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement, vividly represented in the cruel death of George Floyd, to voice our commitment to address structural oppression and racism as a major and largely invisible public health issue.

While acknowledging the devastating impact that racism has on our Canadian society and institutions with a historical embedding of Indigenous genocide and racial exclusion, we are committed to change and to foster  deeper reflection as we go forward in addressing our responsibility toward the care of Indigenous and minority families, gender oppression and the socially disadvantaged. We are aware, with the COVID-19 pandemic, of the wide divergences of data collection, racial awareness, and minority vulnerabilities that require further study.

We are committed to advocating for constructive and persistent efforts to end institutional, systemic, and structural racism in all its forms as it continues to foster injustice, denial, exclusion, and brutality dissonant to the values in our professional oaths. As physicians and specialists, in the climate of wide public protest, we recognize the need for a clear statement and ending our silence on this public health agenda. We are aware of the urgent need to join with our mental health colleagues across the country on behalf of our vulnerable young generation to make every effort to address cultural safety, training, policy, research, and human rights agendas.

We are committed to listen, understand and work with those with lived and living experience to actively support anti-racist policy frameworks within our organization. We also commit to supporting changes essential not only to the wellbeing of our young patients and their families, but also to our institutional partners in education, social services, government, immigration, detention, and other implicated institutions serving children and youth.

 We join our colleagues across other Canadian paediatrics associations and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in acknowledging the legacy of colonial oppression of Indigenous peoples and historical institutional values in serving minorities and its impact on the wellbeing of families and children.