Covid-19 Pandemic Leadership in Canada: 4 Indigenous Female Leaders

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21st

Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash.

Dr. Janet Smylie: Collecting Covid-19 Indigenous health data

Dr. Smylie is a Métis physician and public health researcher at the Centre of Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. She currently holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Applied Public Health Research Chair in Indigenous Health Knowledge and Information.

Dr. Pam Palmater: The Covid-19 response needed for Indigenous women, girls & 2SLGBTQQIA people

Dr. Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick. She has been a practicing lawyer for 20 years and is currently an Associate Professor and the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. She advocates for the pandemic response needed for Indigenous peoples, especially our incarcerated Indigenous women who represent more than 42 percent of those in federal prisons. Moreover, she highlights that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, need a tailored Covid-19 response because of the current context of racialized and sexualized violence and poverty, caused by ongoing genocide.

Dr. Carrie Bourassa: Covid-19 Immunity Task Force

Dr. Bourassa is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH) and a member of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. She will be developing effective mechanisms to ensure that advice on Indigenous issues, concerns and engagement is going to be provided to this task force leadership group on an ongoing basis. She advocates for the consideration of Indigenous peoples social determinants of health to create a culturally safe Covid-19 response. Also, she will be working in partnership with Indigenous communities to develop Covid-19 prevention strategies and action plans for immunity when a vaccine is discovered.

Dr. Suzanne Stewart: Urban Indigenous Covid-19 Response

Dr. Stewart is a member of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation and holds the current Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Homelessness and Life Transitions. She is the Director of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is working in collaboration with Dr. Smylie to develop an Urban Indigenous Response to COVID-19. This strategy will address the misinformation is being circulated in Indigenous communities; the consultation of Indigenous Healers/Elders for a culturally appropriate response to the pandemic; and Indigenous research methods of the pandemic assessment, treatment, and framework evaluations.

Shelley Wiart, B.A. (Hons) is a member of the North Slave Métis Alliance, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Indigenous health research. Mother. Writer. Runner

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