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Remembering Keegan: lessons and learnings

Aug 11, 2022

 Gifted and grounded in ceremony

We are pleased to share Remembering Keegan: a BC First Nations Case Study Reflection, a case study released publicly and gifted in ceremony on Feb. 21, 2022. The case study reflection is the first of its kind shared by B.C. First Nations and is intended to help shape the quality of care for all Indigenous people in B.C. and across the country, and to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

Keegan Combes of Skwah First Nation was a high school graduate, a grade-10 pianist, and a chess champion, who was enrolled in a trades college at the time of his death from from a de​layed diagnosis following an accidental poisoning​. Keegan also lived with disabilities, and was non-verbal by choice. ​We invite all nurses and midwives to read Keegan's story.

This case study is an ongoing gift from Keegan to leaders in the B.C. health system. Leaders are strongly encouraged to drive system-wide education and implementation of the actions recommended to make healthcare more culturally safe and free of racism.  It is also a resource for supporting nurses and midwives as they continue their learning journey and applying the new Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility, and Anti-Racism Practice Standard.

BCCNM's journey

Our college is undertaking work in all departments to support leaders and staff on their cultural humility journey.

One piece of this work is a commitment to learn from Keegan's story. We are asking ourselves: How and what our various programs have done, can do and will do to use the Remembering Keegan case study in our respective programs?

Actions taken so far have included presentations at all-staff meetings, breakout groups, and facilitated discussions. Our Inquiry Committee spent time with Keegan's story, and we're looking at how these learnings can be applied to our Inquiry and Discipline processes.

BCCNM is at the beginning of a long road towards cultural safety and humility, and our work to dismantle racism in the healthcare system. We recognize that there is much work to be done. We pledge to be humble and open. We are willing to be uncomfortable on this journey and will strive to avoid complacency and self-congratulation on our way.

As referenced in Keegan's story (citing FNHA’s Policy Statement on Cultural Safety and Humility): "… We will know that the health system is culturally safe when First Nations and Indigenous people in B.C. tell us that it is."

Welcoming a new Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility consultant

BCCNM is honoured to welcome Rhianna Millman to our organization. Rhianna will be joining BCCNM on August 23, in the newly developed role of Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility Consultant. Rhianna is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia, with her ancestral roots stemming back to the Red River Settlement. For the past eight years, Rhianna has worked to address anti-Indigenous specific racism, anti-racism, inclusion, and accessibility in health. She is also the family, caregiver, and advocate of Keegan Combes and the co-author of the Remembering Kee​gan case study.


We always appreciate hearing from our registrants. Please email

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We acknowledge the rights and title of the First Nations on whose collective unceded territories encompass the land base colonially known as British Columbia. We give specific thanks to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking Peoples the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), on whose unceded territories BCCNM’s office is located. We also give thanks for the medicines of these territories and recognize that laws, governance, and health systems tied to these lands and waters have existed here for over 9000 years.

We also acknowledge the unique and distinct rights, including rights to health and wellness, of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from elsewhere in Canada who now live in British Columbia. As leaders in the settler health system, we acknowledge our responsibilities to these rights under international, national, and provincial law.​