Improving Indigenous cancer outcomes and wellness

On Jan. 6, 2020, Nadine Caron, Canada’s first female First Nations general surgeon, was appointed to a newly created UBC position dedicated to improving cancer outcomes and wellness among Indigenous peoples.

Community members gathered to honour Dr. Caron as the founding First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) Chair in Cancer and Wellness at UBC and mark the start of the groundbreaking initiative aimed at transforming health for Indigenous peoples.

Dr. Caron, FNHA Chair in Cancer and Wellness and Co-Director, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, greets community members before the ceremony begins.

Shane Pointe

Colleen Erickson

Richard Jock

Shane Pointe, Musqueam Family Member and Elder, Colleen Erickson, Chair, FNHA Board of Directors, and Richard Jock, Interim CEO, FNHA, welcome guests and share opening remarks.

“Dr. Caron’s appointment is an example of how we are working together to leverage the current climate for change and reconciliation.”
— Richard Jock

Charlene Belleau, Chair, First Nations Health Council, Colleen Erickson, Dr. Caron, Richard Jock, and Jim Morrison, Member, FNHA Board of Directors enjoy the speeches.

Charlene Belleau addresses the gathering, emphasizing the urgent need to work together to improve cancer outcomes and wellness among Indigenous communities.

“We’ve lost too many loved ones to cancer… we’ve waited a long time… to join hands… so that we have healthier families and communities.”
— Charlene Belleau

Mike Allard, Vice-Dean, Health Engagement at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, and Richard Jock present an inscribed paddle to Dr. Caron as a gift to welcome her to her new role.

“Dr. Caron is a true leader — representing not only the first female Indigenous graduate of UBC’s medical school, but the first female First Nations general surgeon in Canada.”
— Mike Allard

The chair, representing a partnership between the UBC faculty of medicine’s school of population and public health and the FNHA, will work closely with the university’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health.

“With all of us working together to bring Indigenous voices and perspectives forward, our tomorrow looks promising.”
— Nadine Caron

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Published: January 2020