Program & Level: Integrated Science IV
Indigenous voices are often marginalized and underrepresented in healthcare. As a Metis woman with an interest in pursuing a career in medicine, I believe that I have a responsibility to act as an informed advocate for culturally competent care. I believe it is important to strengthen the voices of those experiencing healthcare inequity. I joined the McMaster Indigenous Health Movement (IHM) because I believe that it is essential to address Indigenous health disparities and ensure equitable access to care. I believe that it is important to understand healing as a personal experience and strongly support the integration of Indigenous knowledge into hospitals for more comprehensive and collaborative treatment options. Comprehensive care also requires the consideration of additional factors that influence Indigenous health disparities, such as environmental health. Poor environmental health is disproportionately harmful to vulnerable populations. For Indigenous Peoples, who have strong connections to the land and water, poor environmental health can be devastating to one’s personal health. This interdependence inspired this year’s conference theme which will explore the symbiotic relationship between personal and environmental health. Through this year’s conference, I hope that attendees learn more about this interdependence and its lack of consideration in western healthcare. I hope that everyone is inspired to partake in discussion, advocacy, and action for greater accountability to our land and for equitable and inclusive health considerations.