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Portrait of Dr. Marcia Anderson.

Dr. Marcia Anderson appointed vice-dean Indigenous health, social justice and anti-racism

March 1, 2022 — 

Dr. Brian Postl, dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and vice-provost (health sciences) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Marcia Anderson as vice-dean Indigenous health, social justice and anti-racism, effective March 1, 2022. Dr. Anderson’s new portfolio will include her existing duties as vice-dean, Indigenous health and her responsibilities will expand to include the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Community Engagement, and social accountability.

Dr. Anderson graduated with her MD from the University of Manitoba in 2002. She joined the departments of community health sciences and internal medicine at UM in August 2007, and in 2011 became the head of the section of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Health.

In 2015, following the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final reports, Dr. Anderson led the faculty-wide workshop and the subsequent creation of five working groups to develop the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences’ Reconciliation Action Plan. From 2017-2020, Dr. Anderson served as executive director, Indigenous academic affairs, Ongomiizwin-Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing.

Dr. Anderson has served as Chair of Indigenous Health Committee for the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) that has led to a heightened awareness of the Indigenous community, the needs to support the education of Indigenous students and improved coordination between faculties of medicine of Canada.

Dr. Anderson’s anti-colonial and anti-racism work at Ongomiizwin addresses the inequities and barriers Indigenous faculty, staff and students face in post-secondary institutions and better prepare health professionals to provide high quality, culturally safe health care to Indigenous Peoples. In 2020, under her leadership, the Rady Faculty approved its Disruption of All Forms of Racism policy.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anderson, a medical officer of health for the Indigenous Services Canada – Manitoba Region, has served as public health lead for the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team, whose clinical services were coordinated by Ongomiizwin. Dr. Anderson is sought after by local and national media and is an articulate spokesperson on the effects of the pandemic on BIPOC communities.

At UM, Dr. Anderson has played a senior advisory role regarding the management of COVID concerns for students, staff and faculty. This has allowed the university to manage this complex issue with a minimum of impact of COVID on our community.

She was recognized for her efforts in 2011 with a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now known as the Indspire Awards) and was named as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2018 by Women’s Executive Network. In 2021, Dr. Anderson received the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Dr. Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award.

In this new role, Dr. Anderson is excited to explore how the Rady Faculty can accelerate and expand anti-racism and equity-focused work by firmly grounding in social justice principles, including human rights, participation, access and equity. The strong foundations and commitments in place within Rady position the faculty well to continue to work to implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and begin work to respond to the Scarborough Charter, a commitment to address anti-Black racism and promote Black inclusion in Canadian higher education.


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