Wrap Up


Summit attendees can access select handouts and a certificate of attendance in their CDHA profile.

Take a moment to reflect on the importance of truth before reconciliation. In order for us to move forward on this journey together, it’s important that we all know the truth.
Kluane Adamek, Assembly of First Nations Yukon Regional Chief

CDHA hosted its first in-person Summit since 2018, in Whitehorse, YT, from September 30 to October 1, 2022, at the Sternwheeler Hotel & Conference Centre.

Thank You

2022 Summit Group Shot - Orange Shirts

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2022 Summit on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. CDHA would like to honour and thank the generations of Indigenous peoples who were stewards of these lands for thousands of years, leaving their footprints long before us.

Summit Highlights

CDHA staff, board of directors, and sponsors collaborated to deliver one of the very best Summits to date!

More than 100 participants from across Canada attended this year’s sold-out event, including dental hygienists, speakers and industry representatives. This milestone event offered two full days of professional development and marked the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The program focussed on truth and reconciliation by increasing dental hygienists’ understanding of Indigenous issues, cultures and history, and explored other important topics such as mental health and addiction, national oral health activities from the Office of the Chief Dental Officer of Canada, advocacy, unconscious bias, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

For the first time, CDHA invited its long-standing industry partners to participate in the Summit program presentations by taking a seat at the attendee tables. Throughout the event, industry representatives connected with CDHA members, offering the opportunity to dialogue about their company’s latest product and technology advancements. Thank you to our Partners’ Circle members and sponsors for recognizing the importance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and for understanding the vital role that dental hygienists play on the oral health care team.

On Friday, September 30, attendees honoured the survivors of the Indian residential school system and commemorated those who did not return home by wearing an orange shirt. This act, a part of reconciliation, acknowledged the traumas of the past to help us move forward with our Indigenous partners. Attendees learned about the experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, as well as how to build culturally safe practices and relationships with Indigenous peoples. Following a land acknowledgement and welcome greetings from Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, Assembly of First Nations in the Yukon Region, Rose LeMay, CEO of The Indigenous Reconciliation Group, delivered a powerful message, urging the profession and its leaders to deepen their understanding of and capacity for reconciliation. Her keynote, sponsored by Philips, described the role of allyship and opportunities to contribute to reconciliation both personally and professionally. Rose’s compelling call to action and the powerful way in which she advocated for Indigenous inclusion and equity received a standing ovation from the crowd! Her presentation evoked emotion from the audience and created an undeniable presence in the room. Part of building a better future for us all must include Indigenous peoples, communities, and partners.

Wendy Stewart and Rose LeMay

Wendy Stewart and Rose LeMay

Wendy Stewart, Donna Lee, Donna Scott, Paulette Dahlsiede

Wendy Stewart, Donna Lee, Donna Scott, Paulette Dahlsiede

Following the keynote address, Dr. Rob Tanguay, Chief Medical Officer for The Newly Institute, delivered an eye-opening presentation that explored the prevalence of mental health conditions and addiction in Canada. Mercer and Sun Life were pleased to sponsor this important session. To close out the day, Lisette Dufour, Senior Oral Health Advisor for the Office of the Chief Dental Office of Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada, and Shafana Mitha, Principal at aKollage Consulting, offered insights on national oral health activities in Canada and explored the foundations of equity, diversity, and inclusion, respectively.

On Friday evening, attendees enjoyed a “Welcome to the Yukon” reception, sponsored by Bank of Montreal. This opportunity to network and mingle over drinks and hors d’oeuvres was enjoyed by all. Congratulations were offered to CDHA members who won fabulous prizes including local glassware and spirits donated by the Yukon Convention Bureau, an Apple Watch donated by BMS group, and a $500 gift certificate donated by Air North. A small silent auction also offered members the opportunity to acquire a pair of earrings handmade by past-president Tracy Bowser, with proceeds benefitting the Orange Shirt Society on behalf of CDHA.

Saturday, October 1, began with inspiring greetings from Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon Member of Parliament, followed by a compelling presentation on advocacy for dental hygienists by Huw Williams, President of Impact Public Affairs. While there were many notable highlights and memorable moments worth mentioning, Dr. Sheri McKinstry’s presentation exploring contemporary Indigenous discourse in Canada will not soon be forgotten. Her vulnerability and openness to share her personal experience drew emotion from the audience and ended in a standing ovation. As co-founder of the Indigenous Dental Association of Canada (IDAC), Dr. McKinstry is working towards improving Indigenous oral health in the country. After lunch, Devika Pandey, Director of Learning and Knowledge Solutions for the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, encouraged self-reflection and self-assessment of biases.

Interspersed throughout the program were awards presentations, recognizing various individuals and industry partners. This was the first in-person opportunity since 2019 to acknowledge and honour CDHA Partners’ Circle members, dental hygiene superhero competition winners, and volunteers for their exceptional service and dedication to the profession. Congratulations to all award winners and thank you for your ongoing commitment.

To close out the event and consider how the important learnings received at the Summit can be used to shape the future direction of the association, an ownership linkage activity was facilitated by the CDHA board of directors. With directors at each table and a panel of presenters, the audience was challenged to consider how to improve access to oral health care for Indigenous peoples, how to reduce barriers to oral health care faced by Indigenous peoples, and what resources are needed to make a positive difference to the oral health of Indigenous peoples. Our panelists Donna Lee, Donna Scott, and Paulette Dahlseide offered their insights relating to improvisation of dental hygiene care in Canada for Indigenous peoples. These important discussions ensure that the voices, values, and priorities of CDHA members are heard and set to action. The Summit event ended in a third and final standing ovation.

CDHA would like to thank Dentsply Sirona, a valued bronze level member of CDHA’s Partners’ Circle, for sponsoring breakfast on both days of this year’s event. CDHA also thanks Crest + Oral-B for their long-standing partnership with CDHA as an elite member of CDHA’s Partners’ Circle, and for sponsorship of four nutrition breaks and lunch on both days of the Summit. CDHA would like to express its sincerest appreciation for the knowledgeable and engaging speakers whose expertise allowed for a well-rounded, meaningful program and a successful event.

With three standing ovations over the course of two days and many new connections made, this milestone event has left an indelible mark on attendees. CDHA would like to thank its members for their participation in this event, and for their future work to ensure provision of inclusive, positive, and respectful oral health care for Indigenous peoples in Canada.