• “Message from the Dean and Vice-President”

    - Paul O'Byrne, February 2019, Indigenous Health Initiative Steering Committee Meeting

The Faculty of Health Science is highly engaged in a robust ‘whole- of-Faculty’ Indigenous health education strategic planning process that aims to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The Commission’s call for medical and nursing education reform is at the centre of our goal to ensure that we are adequately preparing all our health science students to provide culturally safe healthcare and to address Indigenous health inequity.

The strategic planning process, led by Dr. Bernice Downey is a comprehensive and inclusive one. Core values of self-determination, humility, respect, trust, equity, sustainability, and excellence will be embedded in this work. Multiple working groups have been established towards exploring and identifying strategic priorities for the work ahead. As an academic institution, McMaster University recognizes and acknowledges that it is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and the Haudenosaunee nations, and is within the lands protected by the "Dish with One Spoon" Wampum Agreement. We acknowledge the relationships that have been developed over the years between FHS representatives and regional Indigenous stakeholders and we remain very appreciative of their collaboration and guidance with our Indigenous Health Initiative

Our efforts reflect post-secondary institutions’ emerging leading practices to decolonize the Academy and address systemic issues and barriers for Indigenous learners. Our IHI strategic plan will include short, medium and long-term objectives and we will make every effort to address urgent priorities. For example, a cross-Faculty, cultural safety training effort is already underway as we need to engage and train both faculty and administrative staff. The recruitment of Indigenous faculty is another important priority and a strategy is being developed to achieve this objective. It is expected that our strategic plan will be released by early fall, 2019. We look forward to working with all our partners both on and off campus in the implementation phase.