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Fact Sheet Mechanisms for Advancing Health EquityEnvironment, Climate and Health

Prioritizing Cultural Safety During Climate-Related Emergencies

March 22, 2023


Creating laws and policies that center cultural safety within institutional structures and practices is essential to supporting diverse communities during climate-driven emergencies. Cultural safety is distinct from the more familiar concept of cultural competency which tends to place emphasis on more privileged groups learning about non-dominant cultures. Cultural safety calls for self-knowledge about the cultural biases reflected in dominant institutions in order to see how these biases frequently work as barriers to inclusive practices. In the context of public health, practicing cultural safety is a valuable tool for promoting racial health equity. This resource is a short practical guide for understanding why cultural safety must drive community engagement and how it can be prioritized in emergency management and response during climate-driven emergencies.