Cultural Competency Definitions

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CULTURAL COMPETENCY DEFINITIONS – A paper to inform development of Cultural Competency Framework for First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples of British Columbia, Canada Cultural Definitions in health care – what does it all mean? There are many definitions and iterations of culture in health care – all with different meanings but many with overlaps. In order to develop a Cultural competency framework, it will be important for stakeholders to agree on what ‘cultural competency’ means and the differences, similarities or connections between this term and others used in different contexts. Any agency or institution using the terms(s) needs to state their own definitions so it is clear to their own readers, users, students or staff – what…show more content…
They note that in today 's political context, the concept of 'democratic racism ' helps to explain how Canadians can hold negative, racialized views of Aboriginal peoples while at the same time espousing liberal principles of equality, tolerance, fairness and justice (Henry et al, 2000). Democratic racism refers to an ideology in which two sets of values coexist yet fundamentally conflict - that is, members of the dominant society espouse outward commitments to democratic principles of egalitarianism, 'colour blindness ' and equal opportunity, and at the same time, operate on the basis of discriminatory attitudes (Henry et al 2000). This does not imply that members of society are intentionally discriminatory or are even aware of the biases they hold. As Henry et al (2000: 383) explains, organizations and institutions are: ...filled with individuals who are deeply committed to their professional work, who are regarded as highly skilled practitioners, who believe themselves to be liberal human beings - and yet they unknowingly, unwittingly contribute to racial inequality. In Canada, the models of cultural sensitivity and cultural competence that continue to predominate are founded on the ideals of multiculturalism (Doane & Varcoe 2005a). Cultural sensitivity thus emerges as one of the central practices of multiculturalism. Given the value placed on multiculturalism
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