Education and Accountability: Centering Indigenous Voices in Health Care (Re)Education: Roundtable Discussion

Monday, September 25, 2023 16:00to18:00
New Chancellor Day Hall, Room 202, 3644 Peel Street, Montreal, QC, CA


Join McGill Professors Josée Lavallée, Sarah Konwahahawi Rourke, and Amy Shawanda for a conversation on education and accountability in the context of systemic violence in health care. Register here

The event will take place at New Chancellor Day Hall (Room 202) on Monday, September 25, from 4:00-6:00 pm. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Celeste Pedri-Spade (Anthropology) and will include a catered reception afterwards. The reception will also serve as a Welcome Back event for Indigenous Health students.

More about the speakers:

Josée Lavallée BScN, RN, MSc

Director, Office of Social Accountability in Nursing

Faculty Lecturer, Indigenous Health

Josée Lavallée (she/her) was born and raised in Winnipeg on Treaty 1 Territory, homeland of the Red River Métis Nation. She is a Red River Michif woman and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation’s Bison Local. She obtained a Baccalauréat en Sciences Infirmières (BScN) from Université de Saint-Boniface. Josée has spent most of her clinical career in community health and advocating for culturally safe, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive nursing practice and education. Josée has a Master of Science in Community Health Sciences (MSc) from the University in Manitoba where she explored the interrelated nature of Red River Métis culture and health. Josée used her thesis as an opportunity to critically examine and challenge how a thesis is expected to be written by Indigenizing her writing to reflect the value of relationality from the knowledge that she gathered and was gifted.

Josée joined the Ingram School of Nursing in May 2023 as the inaugural Director of the Office of Social Accountability in Nursing and as Faculty Lecturer, Indigenous Health. Focusing on transparency and action, Josée will help guide the Office of Social Accountability in Nursing(OSAN) in addressing and engaging in anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and decolonizing nursing education, research, and practices.

Sarah Konwahahawi Rourke, Ed.D.

Director, Indigenous Health Professions Program

Faculty Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine

In 2022, Sarah Konwahahawi Rourke, Ed.D., was appointed Director of the Indigenous Health Professions Program (IHPP) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ms. Rourke, who is Kanien’kehá:ka from Akwesasne, succeeds Kent Saylor, MD, who was the inaugural director of the IHPP when it launched in 2017. Ms. Rourke "will lead the IHPP in the ongoing implementation and evolution of its long-term action plan to increase the number of Indigenous students in all health-related professional programs. Her work will be based on needs and priorities identified by Indigenous communities, in particular within the McGill Réseau Universitaire Intégré de Santé et Services Sociaux. She is also appointed as a part-time Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine.

Ms. Rourke brings more than 15 years’ experience to her new role. She has worked with traditional knowledge holders, teachers and elders, and has extensive expertise in strategic planning, policy development and representing Indigenous communities. She has a Master’s in Educational Leadership from St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. In 2021, she completed the Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Social Justice at St. John Fisher College, Syracuse, NY.

Amy Shawanda, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Ms. Shawanda, an Odawa Kwe, is an Indigenous health researcher, and a Provost Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Ms. Shawanda was born and raised in Wikwemikong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She has been immersed in Indigenous education and land-based learning since daycare to secondary school, then repositioned her strengths in Indigenous Knowledges in undergraduate and graduate schools.

Ms. Shawanda has a background in Law and Justice and Indigenous Studies and her master’s in Indigenous Relations (both from Laurentian University) where her research focused on smudging policies in northeastern Ontario healthcare facilities. She obtained her PhD at Trent University and her doctoral work focused on Anishinaabe Motherhood and examining the challenges, tensions, and strengths of traditional teachings and pedagogies in a contemporary context. Ms. Shawanda has specialized knowledge on strengthening Indigenous ways of being, doing, knowing, and reclaiming. She has been teaching undergraduates and graduate students about Indigenous health, health care, land-based learning, Indigenous maternal health, Indigenous pedagogies, Indigenous methodologies, and spiritual health.

To find out more about the 2023 Indigenous Awareness Weeks, which this event is part of, please visit the IAW webpage.

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