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Medical school studies relationship with Indigenous people

Review will include Indigenous influence and authority at NOSM

THUNDER BAY -- The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has commissioned an expert panel to examine its relationship with Indigenous people.

It's part of the school's ongoing response to the calls for action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015.

In a news release, NOSM said the panel will make recommendations about the relationships, structures and policies that exist between the school and Indigenous communities.

It will consult with Indigenous stakeholders as well as NOSM faculty members and staff.

"The panel will also address the school's ability to integrate the interests and needs of Indigenous Peoples throughout its education and research programs, organizational culture and daily interactions," the statement said.

Issues to be considered include Indigenous leadership, influence and authority in the school; cultural safety and cultural and academic support in the learning and work environment at NOSM; specific curriculum related to Indigenous history, tradition, culture, world view and health; and organizational processes that respect Indigenous history, tradition and culture.

"The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has a mandate to be accountable to the Indigenous Peoples and communities of the region, and if we are to be accountable, we have to reflect on where the School's relationship with Indigenous Peoples currently stands, and where it can be improved," said Darrel Manitowabi, interim Director of Indigenous Affairs at NOSM.

The four-panel members are on the faculties of medical schools at the University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, and University of Manitoba and at Laurentian University's School of Rural and Northern Health.