James Andrew, a member of Lil’wat Nation’s Mount Currie Band and the associate director of Indigenous Initiatives at the UBC faculty of medicine, has been honoured with the Indigenous Health Advocacy Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC).
“I am truly honoured and humbled to be the first in receiving the AFMC Indigenous Health Advocacy Award,” Andrew said. “I want to thank the UBC faculty of medicine for supporting the Indigenous MD Admissions program. I would also love to honour the Indigenous graduates and medical students by thanking them for trusting and allowing me to be part of your journey. Kukwstumkacw! Thank you!”
Andrew has been a staff member at UBC for more than 25 years including 21 years with the faculty of medicine as the Indigenous Student Initiatives Manager. In this role he worked to recruit and support Indigenous medical students through the Indigenous MD Admissions Pathway which recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. More than 120 Indigenous physicians have graduated from the Pathway and are now serving communities across the province.
“James Andrew is a far-reaching mentor within the university, various Indigenous communities, and for many medical schools across the country,” said Dr. Dermot Kelleher, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, and Vice-President, Health at UBC. “James has been a true model of excellence, respect and decency throughout his humble career and productive career. He has inspired, and will no doubt continue to inspire, the next generation of Indigenous physician leaders.”
The Indigenous Health Advocacy Award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding efforts of an Indigenous person in medical education and/or health research who has worked to improve the health of Indigenous Peoples situated in Canada. This award recognizes the outstanding dedication of an individual or faculty member towards the dismantling of anti-Indigenous racism and the advancement of cultural safety, advocacy, health equity and wellness of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.