Brian Sinclair was killed by racism. He was ignored for 34 hours, despite his need for urgent medical care, because medical professionals made negative assumptions about him based solely on his appearance. Anti-Indigenous bias is an endemic problem in Canadian health care, but one that state authorities in Canada seem to disregard, as if ignoring the issue will make things better. The hospital authority denied that stereotyping had anything to do with Mr. Sinclair’s death. The government of Manitoba refused to hold a public inquiry. The inquest into Mr. Sinclair’s death sidelined issues of race and social marginalization. Regulatory bodies have been slow to implement any changes, if at all, and no one has been held accountable for professional misconduct or criminal neglect.
Into this void, a group of concerned Canadian experts has stepped in to address the difficult systemic issues that state authorities have largely chosen to marginalize. The Sinclair Working Group, following painstaking research and careful contemplation, has now released its interim report, Out of Sight. The report features four broad interim recommendations aimed at ameliorating the problem of anti-Indigenous bias in health care.
The Sinclair family sincerely thanks the members of the Working Group for the generous devotion of time, energy, and thoughtfulness that they have contributed to this critically important issue. With their efforts, the family is optimistic that it can truly achieve its most profound objective: ensuring that Brian Sinclair’s death is not in vain. However, the family will still need all of those involved in the health care system and the justice system to step up and follow through on the recommendations.