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New Courses in Indigenous Health: FMED 506 and FMED 527

McGill’s Department of Family Medicine is happy to announce that students can now register for two upcoming Indigenous Health courses. Indigenous Perspectives Decolonizing Health Research (FMED 506), a one-credit course, will be offered in fall 2021 by Prof. Alex McComber, Kanien’keha:ka from Kahnawake Territory, QC. This graduate foundation course explores Indigenous-grounded health promotion in primary health care, with the goal to foster more meaningful patient and community engagement in research and practice. Inuit Health in the Canadian Context (FMED527), a one-credit course, will be offered in winter 2022 by Prof. Richard Budgell, Labrador Inuk. The course will explore the histories, perspectives and contemporary realities of Inuit health in the four regions of Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit homeland) with a particular focus on the Nunavik region of northern Quebec.

You can register for these courses on Minerva.


FMED 506: Indigenous Perspectives Decolonizing Health Research (1 credit) – Fall 2021 by Alex McComber

This graduate foundation course explores Indigenous-grounded health promotion in primary health care, with the goal to foster more meaningful patient and community engagement in research and practice. This course will explore the nature of Indigenous Peoples’ ways of understanding the world and cultural ways of knowing and doing, with focus on health and wellness. It will review the Canadian history of colonization and assimilation, and the outcomes and impacts through the lens of Indigenous Peoples. The course will review the powershift as Indigenous Peoples, scholars and communities participate, share and control the health and wellness clinical and research agenda.

FMED527: Inuit Health in the Canadian Context (1 credit) – Winter 2022 by Richard Budgell

The course will explore the histories, perspectives and contemporary realities of Inuit health in the four regions of Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit homeland) with a particular focus on the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. The Inuit of Nunavik are the second-largest Inuit community in Canada, with a population of 11,000 living in 14 communities. Nunavik is part of the McGill Réseau universitaire intégré de santé et services sociaux. That gives McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences a unique rationale, and opportunity, to offer, under the sponsorship of Family Medicine, a course on Inuit health in the Canadian context.

Gabrielle Doreen awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Yakotennikonhrare (Gabrielle) Doreen has been awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS) and is one of the 2021 Vanier Canada Scholars for her doctoral project titled:

Wampum Theories: An Appropriate Philosophical Foundation for Kanienke’hà:ka Land-based Immersion Schools

Gabrielle’s project ranked #2 out of 195, and was featured in the launch of the official results. Congratulations Gabrielle!

The Vanier CGS is valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies and considers three equally weighted selection criteria: Academic Excellence, Research Potential, and Leadership.
More on Vanier CGS:
The Government of Canada launched the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program in 2008 to strengthen Canada’s ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.




McGill Selected for Thematic Workshop at the National Building Reconciliation Forum

“McGill University’s 52 Calls to Action; Indigenous Awareness Weeks” has been selected for the thematic workshop “Raising awareness among post-secondary institutions about the realities of First Peoples” to be held on Wednesday, September 22 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at the National Building Reconciliation Forum 2021.

The National Building Reconciliation Forum seeks to rally and bring together the main actors in the world of Indigenous education and all post-secondary institutions in Quebec and across Canada. As well, it will serve as a springboard to ensure that the ideas discussed at the forum come to fruition and that they help support Indigenous people in the process of taking charge of education by and for First Peoples and transforming Québec and Canadian society.

Learn more about the National Building Reconciliation Forum here. 

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ): Traditional Knowledge in the Contemporary World Virtual Roundtable

In March 2021, Aaju Peter, Inuit cultural advisor and lecturer, began a ceremony with the lighting of the sacred Qulliq, a traditional lamp. The Qulliq’s lighting opened McGill’s first Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ): Traditional Knowledge in the Contemporary World Virtual Roundtable, organized by McGill’s Professor Marianne Stenbaek.

The Virtual Roundtable was supported in part by funds from a SSHRC Connection Grant, which support events and outreach activities to exchange knowledge and to engage with participants on research. The aims of the roundtable included to showcase Inuit culture and wisdom, and to explore how Inuit traditional knowledge is relevant to contemporary society, both for Inuit and non-Inuit peoples. Featuring Inuit and non-Inuit scholars, artists, and activists from across Inuit Nunaat and Lower Canada, the day comprised of three sessions: “We Believed in the Words of Our Elders”; “Our past, Our Present, Our Future”; and “Honoring the Timeless Creative Genius of the Inuit.” 

Click here to read more about this event, which was written by Wáhiakatste Diome-Deer

Owén:na Tewahthá:rahkw : Summer Speaker Series in collaboration with Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’

The Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative (ISCEI) at McGill, in collaboration with Kanien’kéha-learners group Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’, is hosting an online Workshop Series this summer with the goal of furthering knowledge and awareness about tools for language learning, transmission, and documentation, and identifying topics and tools to help language learners gain knowledge and skills in areas of interest in their language-learning paths.

This new Speaker Series features talks given by Noelani Arista, James Crippen, Sandra-Lynn Leclaire, Marianne Mithun, among others.

About Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’:

Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’, “We are becoming fluent,” is a grassroots group created by and for second language speakers who are revitalizing the Kanien’kehá:ka “Mohawk” language. The group exists across Kanienkehá:ka communities and extends to all spaces that our language can be spoken. The goals of Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ are to, in full-immersion settings, (1) support second language speakers throughout their language learning journey, (2) provide and continue to develop a network of speakers, and to (3) re-center our elders and first language speakers to prioritize language and knowledge transmission.


Beans (dir. Tracey Deer); New Film about the Kanesatake Resistance in Theatres

Beans is a 2020 Canadian drama film directed by filmmaker Tracey Deer. It explores the 1990 Oka Crisis at Kanesatake, which Deer lived through as a child, through the eyes of Tekehentahkhwa, a young Kanien’kehá:ka girl whose perspective on life is radically changed by these events.

ISCEI is looking into purchasing tickets for students and faculty who are interested in seeing this film in theatres. If you are interested, please email vanessa.racine2@mcgill.ca

Please note the content warnings for the film: colonial violence, racism, images, voices and videos of the Kanesatake Resistance that may trigger reactions (emotions, memories, personal experiences). There may be words and descriptions that may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts



New: Submit News and Stories to our Weekly Digest

You can now submit upcoming news and stories to our digest, using the new form on our webpage. Wondering what could be submitted? Here are a few ideas of what our digest can feature:

  • Good news from Indigenous faculty, staff, and students (projects, grants, publications, presentations, awards, media)
  • News about upcoming events related to Indigenous topics or Indigenous studies, or designed for the Indigenous community at McGill
  • Reports about successful events or projects
  • Information about opportunities (funding opportunities, positions)

You can now send in submissions to our weekly digest by filling out this form on our webpage or, you can forward news to: vanessa.racine2@mcgill.ca

New Website: Office for Meditation and Reporting (OMR)

The new Office for Mediation and Reporting (OMR) website (http://mcgill.ca/omr) is now live!

A few features  to highlight are:

  1. Individuals can now schedule appointments with us via the Book a Consultation page, however you may also send an email at omr@mcgill.ca
  2. Reporting forms are available to download on the website here and here; and
  3. feedback form on the site.


McGill featured in K1037 Tetewatha:ren Partyline Talk Show

On June 18th, K103.7 FM featured two guests from McGill on their show, Tetewatha:ren Partyline Talk ShowK103.7 FM – CKRK – is a community radio station serving Kahnawake since we began operation on March 31, 1981. Their goal is to be an information source for Kahnawakero:non and our neighbours in the Montreal area.
In the first segment,  Jacques T. Watso (Councillor for the Abenaki Council of Odanak) and Christopher Manfredi (Provost and Vice-Principal, Academic of McGill University)were invited to speak on the partnership agreement between McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve and the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki.
Following their discussion, Suzanne Sauvage (President and Chief Executive Officer at the McCord Museum) discusses how the McCord Museum is establishing a permanent Indigenous advisory committee, whose primary focus is to take an informed, cross-disciplinary look at the Museum’s indigenization initiatives.

Hiawatha Wampum Belt Flag Raising

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, members of the McGill community were invited to attend a virtual flag raising ceremony of the Hiawatha Wampum Belt flag above the McCall MacBain Arts Building from 9-9:30 am.

For centuries, the flag has symbolized unity and peace between the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk nations. Inaugurated at McGill in 2018, this ceremony responds to one of the Calls to Action put forward by the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education in recognition of the importance of building respectful and reciprocal relations with Indigenous peoples.


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