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Dr. Cindy Blackstock named NOSM University’s Chancellor and inaugural Board of Governors announced

Posted on November 24, 2022
Dr. Cindy Blackstock

On Thursday, November 24, 2022, Dr. Cindy Blackstock, renowned Indigenous child and family rights activist and member of the Gitxsan, was named NOSM University’s inaugural Chancellor.

Ms. Joy Warkentin, Chair, Transition Board of Governors, and Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice Chancellor, Dean and CEO of NOSM University introduced Dr. Blackstock and the new Board of Governors.

“It is an honour to have Dr. Cindy Blackstock serve as NOSM University’s first Chancellor,” says Dr. Verma. “Dr. Blackstock embodies the values of social justice, respect, and integrity. As Chancellor of NOSM University, her tenacious, inspirational leadership and steadfast moral courage will set the tone for us as Canada’s first independent medical university, and the only such institution in the country established with an explicit social accountability mandate.”

Among her innumerable accomplishments, Dr. Blackstock is the co-founder and Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and a Professor at McGill University. She begins a four-year term as Chancellor and will be installed at NOSM University’s first convocation ceremony being held on May 26, 2023.

“I understand the need for compassionate holistic health-care, especially in rural and remote communities. Universal health care means that every person should have access to the health care they need,” says Dr. Blackstock. “NOSM University is a major part of the solution and I’m honoured to accept this landmark appointment as Chancellor.”

NOSM University has also announced its inaugural Board of Governors. Each individual brings important experience, skills, and a commitment to the critical work NOSM University does to improve the health and wellbeing of Northern Ontarians. “I am personally delighted to welcome such a strong group of new governors, and I look forward to serving with each of them in the coming year,” says incoming Chair, Ms. Joy Warkentin.

The new Governors will begin their terms on January 1, 2023:

  • Craig Abotossaway
  • Imran Bagha
  • John Beaucage
  • Cindy Blackstock
  • Angela Carter
  • Kristy Côté
  • Mark Hartman
  • Mark Hurst
  • Nancy Jacko
  • Virginia May Katt
  • Ashley Larose
  • Sue LeBeau
  • Dawn Morissette
  • Shemer Ratner
  • Susan Soldan
  • John P. Stenger
  • Sarita Verma
  • Joy Warkentin

Note: Mr. John Beaucage is the first of five Lieutenant Governor in Council appointees.

“With several NOSM University transition board members concluding their terms, we are deeply grateful for their commitment as we transitioned to Canada’s first independent medical university. A tremendous thank you, merci, miigwetch for their time and leadership,” says Ms. Warkentin.

“We will continue to listen, learn and work hard to cement NOSM University locally, nationally and internationally as a major part of the solution. This is a momentous time in our short history and I am excited about the future,” says Dr. Verma.

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NOSM University is Canada’s first independent medical university and one of the greatest education and physician workforce strategy success stories of Northern Ontario. More than just a medical university, it was purpose-built to address the health needs of the region. While advocating for equitable access to care, the university contributes to the economic development of Northern Ontario. NOSM University relies on the commitment and expertise of the peoples of Northern Ontario to educate health-care professionals to practise in Indigenous, Francophone, rural, remote and underserved communities. With a focus on diversity, inclusion and advocacy, NOSM University is an award-winning, socially accountable organization renowned for its innovative model of distributed, community-engaged education and research.

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