UBC Faculty of Medicine 2022 Commemorative Event for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | Orange Shirt Day

On behalf of Dermot Kelleher, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President of Health at UBC, we invite you to join us in coming together in a concerted effort to reflect on the purpose of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. This important event will take place virtually on the morning of Tuesday, September 27th, 2022.

Below, please download and save the event invitation to your calendar.

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Event Details

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am PT | Virtual
Given the discussion topic, this event may go beyond 11:30 am

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Read the Faculty’s formal Response to the TRC Calls to Action released June 2021

Watch the 2021 webcast of the Faculty’s Response to the TRC Calls to Action Launch

This event focuses on distressing content, and may prompt emotional reactions and difficult thoughts and feelings. This is perfectly normal when working through trauma. If you find yourself overwhelmed, support is just a call or text away through one of these programs.

The event will be guided by Derek Thompson — Thlaapkiituup, Indigenous Initiatives Advisor and Namaste Marsden — Masemtxoxw, Director, Indigenous Engagement. Dean Kelleher, together with Faculty leadership and community, will vow to reaffirm and deepen their commitment to advance the Faculty’s Response to the TRC Calls to Action in collaboration with First Nations and Indigenous peoples of British Columbia and beyond. We continue to work with a determined and deliberate purpose towards ending racism against all Indigenous peoples in both academic and health care systems, and to move ever forward in upholding and recognizing First Nations and Indigenous peoples’ rights that align with the commitments made by UBC in its Indigenous Strategic Plan.


Elder Doris Fox

Bio coming soon

Phillip Johnson

Phillip Johnson is a member of the Esk’etemc of the Secwepemc Nation and a survivor of the St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School.

He has more than 30 years of experience working with communities, groups and individuals, supporting them in addictions recovery and wellness to become healthier, balanced and more productive in their communities. He develops and implements intervention programs in rural First Nation communities using culture, tradition such as healing circles, land-based therapy, and activities as part of his programs, workshops and training.

He currently works in partnership with Design Your Change Consulting Inc. for many of the programs and workshops and also as a private contractor.

St. Joseph’s Indian Residential School

I was six years old when I was taken to residential school. A priest drove up in a white Volkswagen beetle. I talked with my Mom for a little while, then my Mom went and got a little brown square suitcase, to this day I don’t know if there was anything in the suitcase. The trip to the school I don’t remember. I remember when I got there because I had never seen anything so big that was taller than the trees. I remember walking with the priest into this huge thing, I was taken into this room and told to sit here until someone comes to get me, I sat there for a while, I could hear children playing at both ends of the hallway. Finally, a man came and got me and brought me to this place that has beds side by side and in rows. He pointed to a bed and said that “This is your bed, this is your number.” I learned later that my number was 23.

I went to residential school from 1966–1971. Am I a residential school survivor? Yes, I survived physically, mentally I barely made it, emotionally — no, I had no feelings for the longest time, spiritual work is in progress. So, am I a survivor? The question is debatable on many levels.

Derek Thompson — Thlaapkiituup

Derek Thompson — Thlaapkiituup is from the Ditidaht First Nation, one of 14 Nuuchahnulth communities along the west coast of Vancouver Island. The seas for miles of shoreline and all of the land on the western side of our Vancouver Island home, from Point No Point in the south to Brooks Peninsula in the north, is Nuuchahnulth territory — our haahuulthii.

Derek is the first Indigenous Advisor in the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion with the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Thlaapkiituup brings over 30 years of experience working with First Nations organizations and communities across the province and country to achieve wellness through health and related services.

His mission is to foster trust and mutual respect amongst students, staff and faculty in an effort to create an understanding of the commitments made by the Faculty of Medicine to redress and strengthen the relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities.

Namaste Marsden — Masemtxoxw

Bio coming soon

Dr. Dermot Kelleher

Dr. Dermot Kelleher brings significant experience and is recognized internationally for innovation in academic health leadership and administration, clinical care, research and education.

Dr. Kelleher joined the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2015 and serves as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President, Health. Prior to his appointment at UBC, Dr. Kelleher served as Vice-President Health and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, where he also held a concurrent appointment as Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore until 2014. Dr. Kelleher has also served as Head of the School of Medicine and Vice Provost for Medical Affairs at Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr. Kelleher graduated from medicine from Trinity College, Dublin in 1978, going on to specialize in gastroenterology and general internal medicine. Author of 300 publications and 14 patents, Dr. Kelleher’s research examines immune responses in gastrointestinal disease and cancer. Over the years he has received many prestigious awards including a NIH Fogarty Scholarship at the University of California San Diego, Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Clinical Science, and the Conway Medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.

With a strong commitment to innovation and collaboration, Dr. Kelleher currently serves on the advisory board of Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the U.K., and is the Chair of the Standing Committee on Research and Innovation at the Association of Faculties of Medicine Canada. He has a strong background in innovation over his entire career and has worked to found several companies supporting both translational developments in biomedical science and fostering collaboration in biomedical research in both Dublin and London, including for example, MedCity in London. In addition, he has served as a non-executive Director of ICON plc, a globally leading Clinical Research Organization. A Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London), he also served as President of the Federation of European Academies of Medicine before moving to British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Michael Allard

Dr. Michael Allard is a third-generation Settler Canadian of Welsh and English ancestry who lives, works, and plays on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

As Vice-Dean, Health Engagement in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, he is responsible for working with provincial health authorities, other health sector partners, academic organizations, and government to facilitate, coordinate and optimize academic activities and foster their integration to support the health system in B.C. He also provides leadership and support to Faculty efforts with respect to Indigenous relationships and reconciliation. Dr. Allard, who is an alumnus of UBC, is also a Cardiovascular Pathologist at St. Paul’s Hospital and a Professor in the UBC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, where he previously served as Head.

Learn more about Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at UBC here. For information on where to purchase an orange shirt, click here.