Media Releases

Indigenous Health: Finding a Better Way

November 10, 2014

U of T conference examines how to deliver better healthcare to Indigenous Canadians – Nov. 20 & 21

TORONTO, ON — Canada’s Indige­nous peo­ple suf­fer from very high rates of dis­ease, injury and mal­nu­tri­tion. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is tack­ling prob­lems like these with the first con­fer­ence to edu­cate doc­tors, nurs­es and oth­er providers on how to bet­ter care for this pop­u­la­tion.

“It’s unac­cept­able to have a two-tiered sys­tem where indige­nous peo­ple fall behind on every mea­sure of health. It is a human rights issue,” said Prof. Anna Baner­ji, Direc­tor of Glob­al and Indige­nous Health at the Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Medicine’s Con­tin­u­ing Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Office. “We’re going to take a frank look at the neglect of Indige­nous people’s health. This is not just a con­fer­ence – it’s a call to action.”

Spon­sored by Con­tin­u­ing Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment at the Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine, the inau­gur­al Indige­nous Health Con­fer­ence: Chal­leng­ing Health Inequities will take place Novem­ber 20 to 21, 2014 at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Con­fer­ence Cen­tre.

Atten­dees from across Cana­da will gath­er to hear from some of the nation’s most knowl­edge­able and dynam­ic speak­ers, includ­ing Jus­tice Mur­ray Sin­clair, Michèle Audette, Dr. Evan Adams, Phil Fontaine, Dr. Michael Dan and Dr. Janet Smylie.

Rec­og­niz­ing that social chal­lenges are a major deter­mi­nant of health, speak­ers will address issues such as miss­ing, mur­dered and traf­ficked women, the con­tin­u­ing effects of Indige­nous geno­cide and the high sui­cide rates among teenagers in Nunavut. Con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants will look for solu­tions to inequal­i­ty in can­cer care, explore telemed­i­cine for remote com­mu­ni­ties, dis­cuss Indige­nous med­ical tra­di­tions and edu­cate health work­ers on cul­tur­al­ly safe care. Oth­er themes include children’s health, men­tal health, chron­ic and infec­tious dis­ease, and self-deter­mi­na­tion.

“I am thrilled to be par­tic­i­pat­ing in this inau­gur­al event,” says Dr. Michael Dan, phil­an­thropist and social entre­pre­neur, who has had a long his­to­ry of work­ing with First Nations peo­ple in North­ern Ontario. “I applaud U of T’s com­mit­ment to Indige­nous health­care and to the orga­niz­ers for devel­op­ing a con­fer­ence pro­gram by Indige­nous peo­ple, for Indige­nous peo­ple. The sheer wealth of infor­ma­tion at this event will be unpar­al­leled.”

Vis­it for an up-to-date speak­er list and agen­da.

About the Orga­niz­ers

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Medicine’s Con­tin­u­ing Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Office is a strate­gic part­ner in trans­form­ing health­care in Ontario and beyond. Its mis­sion is to improve the health of indi­vid­u­als and pop­u­la­tions though the dis­cov­ery, appli­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion of knowl­edge. Dr. Anna Baner­ji is the Direc­tor of Glob­al and Indige­nous Health, Con­tin­u­ing Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Hei­di Singer
Media Rela­tions Spe­cial­ist
Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416–978-5811