Program & Level: Health Sciences, Level III
As a settler on traditional territories, it is important for me to actively unlearn and relearn the impacts of colonization, especially as it relates to present issues of the environment and health equity. With an interest in pursuing health care from an integrative and holistic lens, combined with a passion for social and environmental health, IHM was the perfect place for me to learn more about the issues faced here on Turtle Island alongside an incredible team of like-minded individuals. It is evident that there is a huge inequity and disparity when it comes to Indigenous health. The effects of colonialism, genocide, and erasure of Indigenous Ways of Knowing has impacted every aspect of the health of the land and its original caretakers. Indigenous communities have always understood living in reciprocal relationship with the environment, and have been stewards of the land since time immemorial. Thus, climate action and decolonization are inseparably linked. It is crucial now more than ever to listen to Indigenous voices and make space for Indigenous-led change. My hope is that the movement and conference this year will inspire folks to learn, advocate and take action on the path to equity and true reconciliation.