CHNC - National Nurses CHNC - National Nurses

Building a New Relationship with Indigenous People It Takes All of Us! 

Dr. Bernice Downey & Dr. David Butler-Jones

How well do we understand the actions recommended in the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions report - Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future?  What do we need to be more aware of as we move forward?  What progress has been made within our health system?  How can we adjust our thinking and actions to improve our own practice and ensure a mutually respectful relationship with indigenous people? Who do we need to collaborate with to accomplish change?

Be challenged to think about how you will respond to the Calls for Action included in the report and the partnerships you will develop to build a different future together.

About the Speakers...


Dr. Bernice Downey is a woman of Oji/Cree and Celtic heritage, a mother and a grandmother. She is a medical anthropologist with research interests in health literacy and harmonization of health systems for Indigenous populations.  She is a life-long advocate in the work towards addressing the serious health inequities among Indigenous populations in Canada. She currently is appointed as the Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead for the Toronto-Central Regional Cancer Program and is currently at McMaster University in Hamilton.

She is also a past member of the Public Health Agency of Canada - sponsored, Canadian Reference Group on the Social Determinants of Health, which supported the work of the Canadian Commissioner, the Honorable Monique Begin to the World Health Organization's Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. Dr. Downey will provide an overview of the TRCs process and comments on a reconciliation path forward.

Dr. David Butler-Jones has worked throughout Canada and consulted internationally in public health and clinical medicine.  He was Canadas first Chief Public Health Officer and Deputy Minister for the Public Health Agency, holding this position from 2004 until stepping down following a stroke in 2012.

A long standing advocate on determinants of health and health inequities, his reports on The Health of Canadians focused on these issues.  And now, as a Senior Medical Consultant with First Nations and Inuit at Health Canada and Atlantic Region, Dr. Butler-Jones will offer his perspective on the recommendations of the report and the role of Public Health in Reconciliation and supporting indigenous communities.

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