We at Children’s Naturopathic Center of Colorado Align with the Pediatric Association of Naturopath Physicians
The PedANP rejects racism, oppression and violence in all its forms.
We have watched recent events with sadness and anger. The murder of George Floyd is the most recent and public example of racism that plays out every day in a spectrum of ways. Structures of systemic racism threaten the physical and mental safety of children for the duration of their lives. White supremacist structures directly harm children, families and communities who are oppressed due to race. Children die at increased rates because of the construct of race. Children exposed to circumstances of adversity due to structural inequities experience toxic stress that threatens their physical and mental health and behavioural strategies for the rest of their lives. Racism systematically disadvantages children through impacted access to adequate education, nutrition, housing, and healthcare, which ultimately increases the risk of exposure to environmental toxins, joblessness, poverty, substance use, violence, chronic disease, and incarceration. These patterns are persistent and transgenerational.
The PedANP acknowledges that the systems that create these inequities were deliberately designed to concentrate wealth among the white elite. Entire populations within our society have suffered for 400 years in order for others to benefit. It is not enough to focus our efforts as healthcare providers – a position itself infused with privilege – on anti-oppression. Supporting children in reaching their full potential is contingent on directly confronting and actively taking steps to deconstruct the white supremecist systems that have created intergenerational patterns of white privilege and oppression of racialized populations. Systemic racism, through silencing and marginalizing contributions of entire communities, harms the health and wellbeing of society as a whole.
In its 2019 policy statement The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidance for those who provide healthcare to children. The PedANP encourages all naturopathic doctors who provide care to children to review this resource, and deepen their understanding of the mechanisms of structural racism and injustice. We also encourage all health providers to support parents to talk to their children about racism in a developmentally-appropriate way, and to take active steps to work towards dismantling flawed systems.
As much as many of us are feeling painful emotions right now, we at the PedANP also feel hope. When rage is expressed, and difficult conversations come to the surface, it is an opportunity to do something different. We must examine our privilege and look for openings to do better.
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Naomi Priest, Jessica Walton, Fiona White, Emma Kowal, Brandi Fox & Yin Paradies (2016) ‘You are not born being racist, are you?’ Discussing racism with primary aged-children, Race Ethnicity and Education, 19:4, 808-834, DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2014.946496
And for those who think racism doesn’t exist in Canada:
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