Program: Experimental Medicine
I have always been very passionate about lifelong learning. As a student with Indigenous ancestry, it has been challenging to incorporate traditional ways of knowing within academia. Completing a Master’s degree in Experimental Medicine allowed me to continue growing academically while also strengthening connections to my Indigenous ancestry. I was very fortunate to have Dr. Darren Warburton as my supervisor. His expertise and unconditional support were instrumental to my success in the program.
Experimental Medicine is a very broad and diverse program. Every student will have a unique experience. Therefore, when talking about research progress with other students within the program, it can be overwhelming. My advice would be to maintain an open mind and take one thing at a time. In addition, it is important that you take time for yourself (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically) and have a strong support system to help you through the challenges and successes.
My research explored the connections to wholistic health and wellness of Indigenous peoples living in rural and remote communities in Canada. Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers from all over Canada played key roles in co-creating the frameworks used in this research. This research highlighted the innate strengths and aspirations of Indigenous peoples in order to support future endeavours surrounding the co-creation of wholistic health and wellness programs and initiatives for rural and remote Indigenous communities.
Immediately after graduating, I will be doing some long overdue travelling with my family and friends. I will continue to be the head coach for the Vancouver Special Olympics swim team. In the new year, I will be applying for a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy at UBC. I hope to one day be a physiotherapist for children with special needs.