By Cheryl Cameron and Tyne M. Lunn
We acknowledge the traditional homelands of the many diverse First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples whose ancestors walked this land since time immemorial. In the spirit of reconciliation, we are learning to honor and celebrate the traditional territory of Turtle Island and are grateful for all peoples – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land.
This edition of Canadian Paramedicine magazine themed “Stronger Together” marks the third annual installment of “Women in Canadian Paramedicine.” Since 2019, the April/May issue has been an opportunity for strategically curated content and often challenging and uncomfortable discussions. Topics around equity, leadership, ethics, values, wellbeing, authenticity, emotional intelligence, education, diversity, sponsorship, mentorship, and bias have filled the three issues to date. Previous issues have also served to highlight the contributions of women in paramedicine working in different roles and geographies, and highlight work from talented artists within our profession. This issue features both previous authors and welcomes new voices from across Canada (and internationally).
The community that has been built to support the ongoing creation of this special issue has also built capacity within our profession. From providing an opportunity for new authors to write their first published article and participate in peer review, to providing seasoned writers with opportunities to mentor and sponsor new authors, we are proud to be a community that intentionally elevates and develops others.
Some articles in this issue may be uncomfortable to read. In fact, some of these articles were uncomfortable to write. Many of the ideas within these pages are meant to act as conversation starters, and it is important for discourse to continue among the readership within the profession. Authors, collaborators and peer reviewers have endeavored to “walk the talk” by stepping out of our comfort zones, recognizing our biases and blind spots, and increasing our knowledge about racism, white privilege, social accountability, and equity. If an article makes you feel uncomfortable, if you find yourself denying the author’s experience, if you have an alternative point of view, we encourage you to reach out to engage in further discussion. These discussions are necessary to continue to progress paramedicine.
We all come to this profession with unique personal histories and lived experiences. Just because we don’t personally experience an issue does not mean that experience is not real or prevalent for others. The authors of this issue invite our Canadian paramedicine peers to pause and consider that sexism, misogyny, gender discrimination and bigotry are experienced by many of your colleagues on a daily basis; bias and racism is a prevalent reality experienced by your racialized colleagues and patients; and peers with disabilities continue to show up to work in spaces where their needs have not been considered. We all have a role in creating an environment that promotes equity.
This annual special edition is a collective community of voices and perspectives. Acknowledging that we stand upon the shoulders of those that have come before us, we recognize our responsibility to advocate, act, reach out and make space for others. It has once again been an honor and privilege to curate this issue of “Women in Canadian Paramedicine,” and our sincere gratitude goes out to all who have contributed to make this issue once again a demonstration of the strength in unity. We see you, we hear you, we are “Stronger Together.”
Acknowledgements and Disclaimer
The authors and contributors to this issue would like to acknowledge and thank Adrienne Renton for her gift of the cover art for this year’s issue of Women in Canadian Paramedicine. The views and opinions of the editorial and articles within this issue are those of the authors and do not reflect official policy or position of any employer or organization.
It’s so easy to become buried in a comfort bubble. Yet, true growth comes from allowing room for discomfort. Just as it is vulnerable to stand alone, it takes vulnerability to reach out and include others, especially when our own needs are met. This artwork is a request to notice other humans and invite them to share human experience in a supportive way. Be the leader who draws people into your circle and hold space for them to show up in their own way.