Dr. Catherine Cook’s term as Vice-President (Indigenous) extended
Dr. Cook to continue advancing Indigenous engagement and success at UM
Dr. Catherine Cook [MD/87, MSc/03], the inaugural Vice-President (Indigenous) at the University of Manitoba, will continue to lead in her role for another year. Dr. Cook’s term, which began January 1, 2020, has now been extended until June 30, 2023.
As Vice-President (Indigenous), Dr. Cook oversees the Indigenous Senior Leadership projects, six initiatives created to advance Indigenous engagement, achievement and governance at UM and to build a culturally safe environment for Indigenous students, staff, faculty and guests. Dr. Cook’s work has been integral to expanding Indigenous representation in classrooms and in leadership, creating supports and structures for Indigenous success, and advancing reconciliation at UM.
Dr. Cook is Métis and grew up in northern Manitoba. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at UM and became one of the first Indigenous physicians trained in the province. Before joining UM, Dr. Cook practiced as a family physician in nursing stations and hospitals in Churchill, Norway House and on Peguis First Nation. In 1987, Dr. Cook became an associate professor in UM’s community health services. Later, she was appointed vice-dean (Indigenous) in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, a role she held until her announcement as Vice-President (Indigenous).
Throughout her career, Dr. Cook has made Indigenous health, education and achievement a priority. She has amplified and guided pivotal Indigenous-focused public health and post-secondary policies in Manitoba and has advanced anti-racism strategies that will support all marginalized communities.
Dr. Cook’s leadership has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards including a recent Indspire award (2021) and the Calvin L. Gutkin Family Medicine Ambassador Award (2020) for her vision and relationship-building.
Dr. Cook strengthens partnerships with Indigenous communities both on and off campus and provides insight and intention into creating a welcoming campus for all Indigenous peoples. The work Dr. Cook has done – and will continue to do – to address post-secondary organizational and structural gaps and barriers to First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, will impact both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people for generations.