Indigenous health

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued several calls to action to help recognize and rectify some of the wrongs committed to the Canadian Indigenous population in the past and which continue to affect Indigenous peoples today. The AMA developed the AMA Policy Statement on Indigenous Health to support the calls to action on health from the TRC’s final report. The policy aligns well with the AMA’s mandate of being leaders in the health care system. The policy was approved by the AMA Board of Directors in July 2017 as a means to support the TRC calls to action on health, and for the AMA as an organization to support improvements in accessing quality care for Indigenous populations. Download the AMA Policy Statement on Indigenous Health.

The AMA formed the Indigenous Health working group to determine how to best address the TRC calls to action. This working group included Indigenous physicians, Indigenous members of the public and physicians with experience working with Indigenous populations. The Indigenous Health Committee has since been established to promote and operationalize the recommendations in the AMA Policy Statement on Indigenous Health. Learn more about the Indigenous Health Committee.

News and events

After long journey to medical school, Dene woman aims to become a doctor

May 26, 2019

CBC News: Leanne Niziol, a Dene woman from Wrigley, N.W.T., aims to transition from a career in nursing into medical school at the University of Manitoba this fall. Afterward, she's planning to return to the North to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

Canadian medical schools commit to increasing Indigenous student admissions

May 25, 2019

CBC News | Lenard Monkman: Canada's 17 medical schools are teaming up with the Indigenous Health Network in an effort to increase the number of Indigenous students enrolled in their programs.

Physician honoured for Indigenous health-care advocacy

May 16, 2019

Physician honoured for Indigenous health-care advocacy May 17, 2019 Daily Herald-Tribune (Grande Prairie) | Peter Shokeir Grande Prairie anesthesiologist, Dr. Alika Lafontaine, has been awarded the CMA’s 2019 Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action for his advocacy work creating positive change in Indigenous health care.

Why a Mi'kmaw nurse is using pain to help his peers connect with patients

May 10, 2019

CBC News | Carol Ray: Registered nurse Athanasius Sylliboy (Nova Scotia) wants his peers to know that if they're asking a Mi'kmaw patient to ‘rate your pain on a scale of one to ten’, they won't get an accurate answer.

What we used to learn': Mental health treatment for Indigenous youth must draw on tradition, advocates say

March 31, 2019

CBC News | Bryce Hoye: 2 reviews recommend culturally relevant supports for Indigenous youth struggling with addiction, mental health.

Questions and comments

  • Please contact Dr. Lyle Mittelsteadt, Assistant Executive Director (Professional Affairs), AMA, if you have questions or comments regarding the AMA Indigenous Health Policy Statement.
  • Please contact Shannon Rupnarain, Assistant Executive Director, Public Affairs, AMA, if you have questions or comments regarding the public affairs component of the AMA Indigenous Health Policy Statement or require information regarding the Indigenous Health Committee function and/or membership.

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.