Program & Level: Health and Society – Ph.D. – 1st Year
Indigenous peoples have been forcibly removed from their traditional territories and prohibited from being stewards to the land, impacting their sense of self as well as their health and well-being. Therefore, impacts on Indigenous health and well-being are rooted in Canada’s continued policies of marginalization. As a settler, from Treaty 4, I have a duty and responsibility to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. And as a new student to McMaster, I wanted to be part of a movement that advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples and McMaster’s Indigenous Health Movement provided the perfect landing point. As someone who works with Indigenous women who are targets of assimilation via incarceration, ensuring their perspective is central to designing solutions that contribute to greater well-being is paramount. At this year’s conference, I hope that we can all actively engage in dialogue that strives for health equity and increased well-being while privileging strengths-based approaches to health by and for Indigenous populations. Let’s ensure that the voices of Indigenous peoples are paving the way forward!