NOSM Adopts “Indigenous Peoples” Terminology
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) and the
Reference Group (formerly known as Aboriginal Reference Group) together
announce NOSM’s adoption of the terminology “Indigenous Peoples” in place of
change in terminology, recommended by NOSM’s Indigenous Reference Group (IRG)
was motivated by the Canadian Government’s recognition of the United
Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People, included within the “Calls
to Action” made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
The term “Indigenous,” used by the United Nations, is meant not to refer to
people living in any particular region, but recognizes first peoples and their
rights around the world.
“It is the
role of the Indigenous Reference Group to advise NOSM’s Dean on matters that
are important to the Indigenous Peoples of Northern Ontario,” says Dot
Beaucage-Kennedy, Chair of NOSM’s Indigenous Reference Group. “The adoption of
the term ‘Indigenous’ by NOSM is important to acknowledging the 94 Calls to
Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is another way that NOSM
is demonstrating its acknowledgement of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in
Northern Ontario, and the importance of the participation of Indigenous Peoples
in the education of future health professionals.”
deep gratitude for the advice provided to me from the Indigenous Reference
Group, and I appreciate the importance of the terminology used by the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission to acknowledge the rights of Indigenous Peoples,”
says Dr. Roger Strasser, NOSM’s Dean. “The Northern Ontario School of Medicine
remains committed to addressing the needs of Indigenous Peoples across the
region to ensure that NOSM is accountable to the cultural diversity of Northern
guided by a social accountability mandate to contribute to improving the health
of the people and communities of Northern Ontario. NOSM serves as the Faculty of Medicine of Lakehead University in Thunder
Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury, with over 90 teaching and research
sites across NOSM's wider campus of Northern Ontario.
As part of their education, NOSM medical students spend four weeks living
and learning in one of more than 40 Indigenous communities across Northern
Ontario during their first year of the MD program. NOSM and the Indigenous
Reference Group periodically host Indigenous Partnership Gatherings that bring
together Indigenous Peoples from across the region to discuss how NOSM can
better serve Indigenous communities.
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The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is committed to the education of high quality physicians and health professionals, and to international recognition as a leader in distributed, learning-centered, community-engaged education and research.