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File image of the Medicine Garden (Mashkiki Gitigaan) groundbreaking ceremony.

File image of the Medicine Garden (Mashkiki Gitigaan) groundbreaking ceremony.

U of M launches Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing

June 1, 2017 — 

Friday, June 2 is a landmark day for the University of Manitoba as the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences launches its Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing -Ongomiizwin.

Ongomiizwin/Clearing a path for generations to come is the largest Indigenous education and health unit in Canada in terms of scope and mandate. It is taking its permanent place in the Rady Faculty, affirming the university’s commitment to building respectful relationships and creating pathways to Indigenous health, healing and achievement.

The new Rady Faculty of Health Sciences institute will advance excellence and provide leadership in research, education and health services in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. Its work will be guided by Indigenous knowledge keepers and elders.

Who: U of M President David Barnard, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Dr. Brian Postl, Dr. Catherine Cook, Vice-Dean, Indigenous Health and Ongomiizwin leadership team

What: Official launch of Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing -Ongomiizwin

When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Where: 8:15 – 9:00 a.m. Pipe Ceremony, Medicine Garden, 745 Bannatyne Ave.

9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Brodie Centre Atrium, 727 McDermot Ave

Opening Prayer: Elders Margaret Lavallee and Mary Wilson

Welcome remarks: President & Vice-Chancellor David Barnard, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Dr. Brian Postl, Vice-Dean, Indigenous Dr. Catherine Cook

Honour song & Institute launch 

Keynote by Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director, CIHR,

Panel on Ongomiizwin Pillars: Education, Research & Health Services

12:45 a.m. Introduction to Rady Faculty of Health Sciences’ Reconciliation Action Plan

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Breakout sessions across campus on themes: Traditional Knowledge | Math and Science Outreach | Urban Indigenous Health Research |Admissions Policies and Processes | Primary Care Health Services | Indigenous Health Care Quality

3:00 p.m. Closing remarks, Brodie Atrium

University of Manitoba Bannatyne Campus

“As we establish this Faculty-wide institute, we are clearing the path for tomorrow’s children – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to be educated as dentists, dental hygienists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and rehabilitation therapists in a culturally safe place where Indigenous knowledge and relationships are formally recognized,” said Dr. Catherine Cook, vice-dean of Indigenous health at the Rady Faculty.

Ongomiizwin unites three units that were formerly part of the Max Rady College of Medicine: the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, the Centre for Aboriginal Health Education and the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit. They will now be renamed Ongomiizwin – Research, Ongomiizwin – Education and Ongomiizwin – Health Services.

The institute will lead the implementation of the Rady Faculty’s Reconciliation Action Plan, developed in response to the health-care and health education calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

The Action Plan addresses themes such as honouring traditional knowledge; providing safe learning environments; improving support and retention of Indigenous students; educating all students and faculty in cultural safety and anti-racism; and removing barriers to health professional education.

“Through a structured process of reconciliation, Ongomiizwin will work to break down barriers to enter health profession education and close the health-care gaps between First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and all other Canadians,” said Dr. Brian Postl, dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and vice-provost (health sciences).

More information on the Institute launch program is available online.


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