By: The Indigenous Health interest group
On March 21st, 2019, the Dalhousie Indigenous Health interest group collaborated with the Global Health Office to host the 2019 installment of the Weld Kernohan Lecture. This event takes place every three years to honor two Dalhousie Medical School alumni, Dr. Elizabeth Weld and Dr. Mary Kernohan, who spent time serving remote Indigenous communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The title of this years’ lecture was Indigenous Perspectives in Western Medicine. We were honored to have Dr. Ojistoh Horn, a Mohawk family physician, join us all the way from Kahnawake where she serves her community of 14,000 people. Dr. Horn delivered a thought-provoking keynote address that had the audience captivated, highlighting Indigenous knowledge systems that are foundational in conceptualizations of health, and encourage everyone in attendance to broaden their understanding of wellness for Indigenous persons.
Dr Horne provided insight into how Dalhousie Medicine can work towards Truth and Reconciliation by:
“Allowing our own people to tell our own story is a huge part of creating a relationship. To be heard. And not to do it once but to have a relationship.
You need a community champion who is not necessarily a doctor, and to recognize that the hierarchy of teaching and medicine does not work in the community.
In going towards TRC, it really needs to be through story, experiential, with a relationship, and with the people. Then it will work. Any of those things that aren’t there, then it won’t work. Then it means a total fundamental way of changing how medicine is taught”
Following this address, we moved to panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Andrew Lynk, Chair and Chief Pediatrics. The panel include:
- Dr. Brent Young, Anishinaabe Dalhousie Medical School graduate (Class of 2019)
- Leah Carrier, Blackfoot Registered Nurse, MSc student, Research Coordinator of Centre for Pediatric Pain Research/Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing
- Dr. Tiffany O’Donnell, Non-Indigenous family physician, Sipeken’katik First Nation Health Centre
- Phillipa Pictou, Mi’kmaq, Community Health Director for Pictou Landing First Nation
Our local panelists highlighted key challenges they face in their respective fields in advocating for Indigenous patients, and in working to create ethical space for culture-specific healthcare for Indigenous patients.
The event was wildly successful and attracted several attendees, including students, faculty, community members, healthcare professionals, and friends and family of Dr. Weld and Dr. Kernohan. We look forward to planning the next installment of the Weld Kernohan Lecture in 2022.
For more information:
Indigenous Health interest group
Faculty of Medicine’s Indigenous Health Program
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