Supporting Indigenous leaders, physician trust, safety and engagement

June 30, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA President

Dear Members,

There have been multiple media reports regarding the resignation of Dr. Esther Tailfeathers from the AHS Indigenous Wellness Core. The AMA immediately commented on this with the essential voice of our Indigenous Health Committee. I also made a statement to commend a group of AHS physicians who courageously penned an open letter to media.

I’ve heard from many members about this incident. We are all concerned for the well-being of our colleagues involved. There are also potential implications for Indigenous health and for the profession at large. The toll to date is the loss of three highly qualified and respected leaders in an area of critical concern. The AMA, in consultation with the injured members, will continue to support their choice in moving forward.

Transparent accountability is needed and would go far to support physician trust, safety and engagement.

You are always welcome to share your thoughts with me. You can email me via You can also comment on this letter on the AMA website.


fred Rinaldi, MD, CCFP, FCFP, LLB, MBA, MPA(HSA), BCom
President, Alberta Medical Association

"Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'"


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  • #1



    9:16 AM on June 30, 2023

    I think it is unfortunate that the open letter to the media was not more widely distributed. I'm sure thousands of doctors in Alberta and likely beyond would have signed it if given the chance.

  • #2

    John Coppola


    4:24 PM on June 30, 2023

    Agree that there would likely have been thousands of supportive physicians, including outside of AHS in the community, who would have supported this letter. Hopefully, the AMA leadership can show the same courage and demand a transparent answer to what happened. It must be increasingly difficult to engage with an anti-science government who has little respect for the immense expertise that individuals like Dr. Hinshaw and Tailfeathers possess.

  • #3

    Janet Northcott


    4:51 PM on June 30, 2023

    I would have signed this for sure, given the chance. Both physicians are strong, competent and dedicated. I don’t know the details of this power struggle but I know both of their work well enough to trust their integrity, skills, and motives. The same cannot be said for the government.

Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.