June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day and the month of June is recognized as National Indigenous History Month. 

This is a time to learn about, celebrate, and honour the diverse history, cultures, resilience, contributions, and accomplishments of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. These groups each have their own unique heritage, language, cultural traditions, and spiritual beliefs.

Building on past work in Indigenous health, this year the CMA announced an Indigenous health goal to set aside space in their long-term strategy and health system advocacy. This week the CMA announced the beginning of an apology process for harms to Indigenous Peoples in health care, part of its commitment to walking the path of reconciliation. 

Learn More and Take Part

Learning about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples through their storytelling is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of their culture and traditions. Immerse yourself in storytelling by picking up a book, attending a show, watching a movie or listening to music from Indigenous artists. Taking the time to learn more is a concrete action. Reconciliation can’t happen without learning the truth. There are many online resources, books, exhibits and TV coverage from which we can all improve our understanding of our history:

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has made Indigenous Health a mandatory component of postgraduate medical education. The comprehensive education guide is available here.

Learn about Inuit across Canada

Learn about Métis across Canada

Learn about First Nations across Canada

Manitoba is home to many incredible Indigenous physicians. Read about the work being done at the Ongomiizwin Health Services in our March issue of Rounds magazine. Many of our Doctors Manitoba Award winners identify as Indigenous and work hard to ensure they are providing culturally safe health care for their patients. They include:

  • The 2022 Physician of the Year, Dr. Marcia Anderson has made an immeasurable impact on the health and well-being in Indigenous communities. 

  • Indigenous patients and their stories are at the heart of patient care for 2022 Medal of Excellence recipient, Dr. Barry Lavallee.

  • 2023 Medal of Excellence recipient Dr. Courtney Leary continuously asserts the rights of First Nations People and communities to have sovereignty over their health choices.

  • 2023 Medal of Excellence recipient and Métis Family Physician Dr. Katherine Kearns, along with her colleague Dr. Christina Raimondi, established The Winnipeg Breastfeeding Centre, dedicated to providing evidence-based, diagnostic support to families requiring clinical assistance.

Non-Indigenous physicians are also doing incredible work with Indigenous communities, like our 2021 Medal of Excellence recipient, Dr. Sabina Ijaz, who works in the Pine Falls and Sagkeeng area providing culturally safe and holistic health care.

Last year we developed an Indigenous logo that demonstrates our connection and commitment to health and healthcare rights of Indigenous Peoples. We use this logo on days of awareness and celebration, as well as those times in which we collectively grieve for the past and current harms against Indigenous Peoples. You can learn more about the logo and its symbolism here.

Upcoming Events:

To share local events and additional resources with your colleagues, email us.

Find physician-specific resources here.