WARNING: This story includes a term many people find offensive. Discretion is advised.
Two Alberta Health Services (AHS) employees have been fired after a racial slur was sent in a text to a Kainai Board of Education staffer.
Ramona Big Head, who is the principal at Tatsikiisapo’p Middle School, told Global News that on June 19, an employee with AHS sent a text message containing the racial slur “squaw” to a fellow member of the Kainai Board of Education (KBE) by mistake.
AHS president and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu said the internal investigation has concluded and no further information will be released on the “terminations or the terminated employees.”
“We will take this opportunity to reiterate that this incident is not representative of who AHS is or what AHS stands for,” Yiu said in the statement.
“Building cultural competency and sensitivity in our staff remains an important priority for Alberta Health Services. In our communication with staff on this issue, we have stressed that training for all AHS employees, and will continue to do so.”
Yiu said she has told staff the “true test” of the organization is what happens next.
“AHS is committed to advancing the process of reconciliation with indigenous peoples and communities and we will move forward from this incident together with our indigenous communities and all Albertans.”
Global News has attempted to contact the employee who sent the text but has not yet received a response.
The KBE released a statement Friday, saying it had no comment on the firings and that its staff respects the decision from AHS.
“We look forward to working with AHS to continue the reconciliation and healing process,” it said.
Watch below: An Alberta Health Services employee could be fired after a racist text message against indigenous people was uncovered. Reid Fiest has more on the message and what it says about racial issues that still exist in Canada.
With files from Global Lethbridge