Standing in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and LGBTQ2S+ communities
Throughout June, we’ve been recognizing Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month and celebrating the incredible contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and LGBTQ2S+ communities to Canada’s Lifeline. We’ve also been spending much of the month reflecting on how some individuals and communities across Canada have been — and continue to be — disproportionately hurt by some of our policies and the health system more broadly. How we all have a role to play in reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and other diverse communities.
This is particularly top of mind in the wake of the recent residential school tragedies. Following the announcement this week of the 751 unmarked graves found at the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, and to honour the victims, we have lowered our flags to half-mast indefinitely.
We encourage all employees to continue to take the time to explore and share important resources on LGBTQ2S+ allyship, anti-Black racism, Indigenous inclusion and more, as we further our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, together.
TODAY: You’re invited to our virtual roundtable to celebrate Pride Day
Don’t forget to sign up for today’s Pride Day Virtual Roundtable: Sharing LGBTQ+ Experiences in our Workplace. The event takes place from 1–2 p.m. (ET) today, Friday, June 25. During this special session, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from members of our LGBTQ+ employee resource group as they reflect on their personal experiences within Canadian Blood Services and look back on some of the stories we’ve shared throughout June. Sign up for the Pride Day roundtable session here and discover all of our Pride-related stories, educational resources and more at Connect.blood.ca/Pride.
Laying the groundwork for a more inclusive blood system
As we move toward evolving our eligibility criteria for donors, Dr. Catherine Jenkins is bringing her perspective to that work as a scientist, LGBTQ+ advocate and trans woman. “I’ve taken the approach that it might be possible to make change within the system and so that’s what I’m trying to do,” she says. “At the same time, I’m torn because it sometimes feels like the system is actively working against me.” Dr. Jenkins was reminded of that when she donated blood for the first-time following gender-affirming surgery. She decided to study her experience with the goal of creating a more supportive environment for other trans donors. Read her story on Connect.
Stem Cell Club volunteers aim to save lives with Pride Month campaign
A national group of volunteers called Stem Cell Club has launched a new campaign to raise awareness that gay, bisexual and queer men are eligible to register as stem cell donors, and to encourage them to join Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. Justin Saint of Vancouver, B.C. is one of the volunteers supporting the campaign with creative, shareable content. Like many gay men, he previously had no idea that he was eligible to join the stem cell registry. He describes it as “a relief” to learn he could help patients with stem cells. In fact, not only is he eligible, he is likely an optimal candidate for the registry. Read his story on blood.ca.
Question of the day: COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted or reduced in my region. Do I still need to follow COVID-19 guidance and policies at Canadian Blood Services sites?
Yes, until further notice, anyone who enters a Canadian Blood Services site will have to continue adhering to established COVID-19 measures and policies. There is still significant uncertainty related to the pandemic, including how provincial re-opening and vaccination uptake will impact case rates and whether there will be a fourth pandemic wave in the fall.
Given this uncertainty, it is recommended that a cautious approach is taken, especially when it comes to lifting safety measures such as mandatory masks and physical distancing at Canadian Blood Services sites.
If you have questions about specific changes/restrictions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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