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NOSM Indigenous Reference Group Holds Face-to-Face Meeting in Sudbury

The Indigenous Reference Group (IRG)—formerly known as the Aboriginal Reference Group—of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) held a face-to-face meeting in Sudbury on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. Members began their one-day meeting with an opening prayer from Elder Peter Jones, followed by a welcome and update on the School from Dr. David Marsh, NOSM Deputy Dean and Associate Dean of Community Engagement.

Throughout the day, members of NOSM’s Indigenous Reference Group received presentations related to the School’s socially accountable admissions processes, intercultural effectiveness training in the MD program, NOSM’s Indigenous Health Research Gathering taking place in Sault Ste. Marie in June 2016, and a progress report from recommendations made at the School’s Walking the Vision Gathering hosted at Chapleau Cree First Nation in 2014. In addition, IRG members had an opportunity to discuss and recommend NOSM’s adoption of the terminology “Indigenous Peoples” in place of “Aboriginal Peoples.” 

Dr. Joyce Helmer, Chair of NOSM’s Indigenous Admissions Sub-Committee, provided an update on Indigenous student applicants to the MD program for September 2016. This year, 62 students self-identified as Indigenous and chose to apply to NOSM through the Indigenous Admissions Stream. Indigenous students applying to medical school at NOSM have their applications reviewed in two ways: applications first go through the required screening process to ensure they’ve met course and grade requirements for application, and then reviewers on the Indigenous Admissions Sub-Committee review applications looking at the whole person to see how involved students are with their community and Indigenous culture.

Dot Beaucage-Kennedy, Chair of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s Indigenous Reference Group, believes that bringing members together in one location provides a welcome occasion to reflect on the great work being done by the IRG, Indigenous Affairs Unit, and NOSM. “The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has made important connections with Indigenous communities and peoples across the North over the past ten years,” says Beaucage-Kennedy. “The Indigenous Reference Group welcomed the opportunity to discuss ways to build upon these relationships and provided feedback for continued improvement to the School’s programs.”

Reporting to the NOSM Dean, the Indigenous Reference Group was established to provide advice to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s initiatives, including  research, administration, and academic issues in the promotion of excellence in higher learning and accommodation of the Indigenous world view. The Indigenous Reference Group serves as the primary resource for the medical school in the fulfilment of its social accountability mandate as it relates to Indigenous health education.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine's next Indigenous Reference Group meeting is scheduled to occur on May 3, 2016.

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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. 

Kimberley Larkin
Communications Officer
Phone: 705-662-7243
Email: klarkin@nosm.ca 


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