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Expert Panel on Indigenous Relations

Expert Panel on Indigenous Relations

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) Executive Group has engaged an Expert Panel to provide advice on the relations, structures and policies that exist between NOSM and Indigenous Peoples including NOSM’s Indigenous Reference Group, Elders’ Council, the Indigenous Affairs Unit, Indigenous learners, Indigenous faculty members and staff, and Indigenous communities and organizations.

The Expert Panel will help NOSM establish a framework to ensure that future strategies, processes and structures are developed and maintained to continually enhance mutual trust, respect and a spirit of partnership, such that the roles, responsibilities and actions, undertaken by all, aim to strengthen relations while supporting improvements to Indigenous health across Northern Ontario.

Regrettably, Indigenous Peoples experience daily systemic racism across Canada, in virtually every organization, including NOSM. The Panel will identify the steps necessary for NOSM to address this within their daily interactions.

The purpose of this process is to create a positive way forward for Indigenous Peoples and communities, other Northern Ontario communities and NOSM, in the spirit and context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

The members of the Panel are respected, experienced faculty members from other medical schools and Laurentian University.

They are:

  • Dr. Marcia Anderson, Medical Officer of Health, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority; Executive Director of Indigenous Academic Affairs, Ongomiizwin Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.
  • Dr. Sheila Cote-Meek, Associate Vice President, Academic & Indigenous Program, Professor, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury.
  • Dr. Jerry Maniate, Vice President, Education, The Ottawa Hospital; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa; Invited Member, Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University of Toronto.
  • Dr. Lisa Richardson, Co-lead, Indigenous Medical Education, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; Education Researcher, Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University of Toronto.

The work of the Expert Panel is to begin immediately with the examination of pertinent documents, and an environmental scan of other organizations. This will be followed by meetings and conversations with individuals and communities. The work is to be completed by September 2018. The exact timing or place of any meetings has yet to be determined.

Of necessity some of the topics and issues being discussed will be sensitive and we thank you in advance for engaging in this difficult work, which is aimed at benefitting all of Northern Ontario.

We want to emphasize strongly that the focus will be on systems, policies and processes that will create a positive way forward to strengthen relationships among NOSM, Indigenous Peoples and communities.

By developing knowledge, understanding and strategies we will continue to support true partnerships with the Indigenous Peoples and communities and a better way forward.

From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – Principles for Reconciliation:

“It is due to the courage and determination of former students—the Survivors of Canada’s residential school system—that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established. They worked for decades to place the issue of the abusive treatment that students were subjected to at residential schools on the national agenda. Their perseverance led to the reaching of the historic Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

All Canadians must now demonstrate the same level of courage and determination, as we commit to an ongoing process of reconciliation. By establishing a new and respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, we will restore what must be restored, repair what must be repaired, and return what must be returned.”

If you would like to speak to the Panel members, make a written submission or if you have suggestions for documents the Panel should review please contact Diane Moncion (dmoncion@nosm.ca) who is providing administrative support to the Panel.

If you have questions, ideas, concerns or comments etc. please contact Catherine Cervin, Vice Dean Academic (ccervin@nosm.ca).


Dr. Catherine Cervin,
Vice Dean Academic
Northern Ontario School of Medicine


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