This week I am talking to Kim Trottier, a registered dental therapist with 20 years experience who provides oral health services to remote Indigenous communities in BC. Not only does her job keep her busy travelling, Kim is a mother, a board member for her regulatory college, a student, an outdoor enthusiast, AND she has recently launched an initiative she calls ‘Culturally Committed’. She is here to take us through the mission of Culturally Committed today.
Dental therapists make up a tiny percentage of the oral health professionals. There’s only 5 working in the whole of British Columbia. As a dental therapist, Kim is a mid-level service provider and travels to remote communities to provide services in a place that is familiar and comfortable for her patients.
When Kim first began her current role in BC, the entire family’s schedule revolved around that of her husband. Together they realized that it was time to make changes in their lives, and decided it would benefit them all for him to step back and create space for Kim to grow professionally.
In January, Kim launched Culturally Committed. The intention of this work is to create a space for non-indigenous health and service providers to learn how to improve the cultural safety of their practice, directly from Indigenous Mentors and Elders.
Early in her current role, Kim realized that she was ignorant about what she should and shouldn’t be doing to be a culturally safe provider. She feels blessed to have developed close relationships with Indigenous community members who offer her support, guidance, and feedback — and it’s this feedback that has led her to adapting her practice to become more culturally safe. Now, she wants to make it accessible and safe for everyone to learn and ask questions.
Kim also discusses learning new skills she’s honed while launching Culturally Committed, how communities have reacted, what her work looks like since COVID.
Connect with Kim: