Statement from the AMA's Indigenous Health Committee

June 20, 2023

The AMA Indigenous Health Committee (IHC) has learned of the resignation of Dr. Esther Tailfeathers from her role as Senior Medical Director, Provincial Indigenous Wellness Core, AHS.

Dr. Tailfeathers is a member of the IHC, a highly respected member of our community and a prominent advocate for Indigenous health. The circumstances that led to her resignation have raised questions from the IHC including Indigenous physicians and community members.

The impact her resignation will have on Indigenous health in Alberta moving forward is unknown but there is confusion and concern among many.

At the Alberta Medical Association, we will continue to advocate for a health care system of transparency, trust and collaboration, ensuring the rights and well being of Indigenous Peoples are respected and protected.

Indigenous Peoples have long suffered from systemic inequities and racism in health care. This has led to significant differences in morbidity and mortality, including most recently the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in Alberta dying from opioid poisoning.

It is critical that the voices and experience of Indigenous Peoples are honoured and respected as we work to address health inequities.

Last week, @CMA_Docs announced a commitment to apologize for the harms caused to Indigenous Peoples. Reconciliation in health service means advocacy to achieve not only quality but also equity rooted in the social & cultural contexts of Indigenous Peoples.

AMA and the Indigenous Health Committee are committed to working with Indigenous Peoples and the CMA on this path, and we confirm our determination to be leaders in addressing past and current injustices to Alberta’s Indigenous communities.

(originally shared via AMA social media accounts on June 20, 2023)

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.