New network bringing together Indigenous students and health professionals

Posted on August 17th, 2018

A newly launched network is hoping to provide culturally-grounded support for Indigenous students across Quebec with dreams of careers in the health sector.

“We do need more representation in all health-related fields. There’s a growing number, but we’re all very stretched with demands,” said Treena Delormier, an associate professor in the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University.

Delormier, a Kanien’kehá:ka from Kahnawake, near Montreal, is one of the handful of Indigenous mentors working with the new Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network. The network, which is funded by the Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, is based in Kahnawake.

Delormier said she benefited from great mentors in her own research work, and she wanted to pay that forward.

“For me, it is just like a natural part of research training, especially when we’re talking about health research and Indigenous communities,” she said.

Delormier is involved in nutrition and health promotion interventions that address the social determinants of health underlying the inequalities Indigenous people experience, in a historical context of colonialism. 

“Our history of health is so contextualized in this specific context of colonisation. It’s a complex situation and I think that any research mentoring is going to be helpful, but this particular network is focused on Indigenous communities building capacity.”

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