New UBC public health program will train Indigenous health leaders

Posted on March 12th, 2018

A new public health program offered at the University of British Columbia aims to address health inequities by training Indigenous health leaders working in communities across the country.

The Certificate, and Graduate Certificate, in Indigenous Public Health Program – representing the first of its kind in Canada – will be available through the Faculty of Medicine’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health (CEIH) in summer and winter sessions, starting in August.

It will offer specialized training in core disciplines of public health, including biostatistics, health policy, and environmental health, aiming to equip participants with the skills needed to address public health issues in Indigenous communities.

“Focusing on these public health pillars through an Indigenous lens will help future students gain research skills and understand perspectives that can be marginalized in mainstream curricula,” said CEIH co-director Nadine Caron.

“It is not a coincidence that the first step we are taking is a course focusing on research ethics through an Indigenous lens in addition to an introductory course in public health.”

Delivered in a culturally relevant way, the program’s approach will recognize the historic and ongoing health disparities faced by Indigenous populations, build knowledge affirming Indigenous rights to self-determination in relation to health services, and address many of the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation commission.

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