About this conference
The Indigenous Health Interest Group (IHIG) sought to improve the representation of Indigenous peoples and issues at the 15th Annual Crossroads Interdisciplinary Health Research Conference. With the recent release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, action is being taken across Canada to acknowledge and address the historical and ongoing injustices against Indigenous peoples in Canada, as well as the related consequences on the health of Indigenous peoples. IHIG was honoured to facilitate Keynote Speaker Dr. Barry Lavallee of the Saulteaux/Metis First Nation share his thoughts and experiences with the Dalhousie health community. Indigenous perspectives on food security were also heard in the panel discussion, thanks to Community Health Nurse Cheyenne Joseph of the Mi’kmaq First Nation. The conference itself was opened with a Mi’kmaq ceremony, acknowledging that Crossroads occurred on traditional Mi’kmaq lands.
IHIG was proud to support the inclusion of Indigenous research, voices, and traditions at Crossroads 2017. This was a step toward better awareness of, and respect for, Indigenous health practices across all health professions within Dalhousie and beyond. Learning opportunities, such as those presented at this year’s conference, enabled non-Indigenous students to become better informed about Indigenous cultures and concerns. These opportunities also gave voices to Indigenous students, faculty, and community members, and solidified their place in health dialogue.