4th Annual Advanced Institute in Cultural Psychiatry:
Body, Memory & Identity
June 3 - 5, 2002
Monday 9 AM - 5:30 PM, Tuesday & Wednesday 9 AM - 1:00 PM
Institute of Family & Community Psychiatry
4333 Cote Ste Catherine Road
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E4
Flexible and durable personal identities are key elements of mental health and well-being. Identity may be inscribed on the body through the scars of experience, organized in narratives based on personal and collective memory, and performed in social settings through displays of affiliation and distinction. This Advanced Institute will approach the cultural construction of identity in mental health and illness through current research on three intersecting areas: bodily idioms of distress; social practices of memory; and narrative accounts of the self. An interdisciplinary group of scholars will address such questions as: How do people reconstruct identities fractured by migration, marginalization, violence and forced culture change? What are the consequences of adopting an identity as a survivor, victim, or martyr? Where is identity located and how can it be usefully reconfigured?
The languages of the conference will be English and French. No simultaneous translation will be available.
Gilles Bibeau, Michael Chandler, Lawrence Cohen, Ellen Corin, Wesley Crichlow, Dara Culhane, Jo-Anne Fiske, Jaswant Guzder, Douglas Hollan, Sushrut Jadhav, Yolene Jumelle, Laurence Kirmayer, Christopher Lalonde, Myrna Lashley, Duncan Pedersen, Ccile Rousseau, Radhika Santhanam, Kemal Sayar, Carlo Sterlin, Gail Valaskakis, Rahul Varma
The fee for the full conference is $200 ($100 for fulltime students). The fee for one-day attendance is $100 ($50 for fulltime students). There is no charge for Faculty and trainees of the McGill Department of Psychiatry, who must nevertheless register to attend.
Send name, professional affiliation, address & registration fee to:
Dianne Goudreau, Administrative Coordinator, Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University, 1033 Pine Ave West, Montreal H3A 1A1
514-398-7302; Fax 514-340-4370
Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University
4th Annual Advanced Institute in Cultural Psychiatry
Body, Memory & Identity
Monday June 3, 2002
9:00 9:15 Introduction: L. J. Kirmayer
9:15 10:00 Brown psychiatrists, white patients: Postcolonial encounters Sushrut Jadhav
10:00 10:15 Break
10:15 11:30 Film: Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask
11:30 12:30 Panel discussants: Gilles Bibeau (Chair) Wesley Crichlow, Sushrut Jadhav, Yolene Jumelle, Myrna Lashley, Carlo Sterlin, Gail Valaskakis
LUNCH 12:30 2:00
2:00 2:30 Identity in Qubec Gilles Bibeau
2:30 3:00 Remembering the void Ccile Rousseau
3:00 3:30 Foreign space: Inside and outside Radhika Santhanam
3:30 3:45 Break
3:45 4:45 Film: The South Bank Show - Shirin Neshat (A Film by Susan Shaw),
4:45 5:30 Panel discussion: Jaswant Guzder (Chair) Gilles Bibeau, Ellen Corin, Radhika Santhanam, Kemal Sayar, Ccile Rousseau, Rahul Varma
5:30 7:00 Reception
7:00 8:30 The Other in the Self Toi Derricotte
Tuesday, June 4, 9 AM 1 PM
Continuity, rupture and transformation of identity of Indigenous peoples
9:00 9:30 The persistence of personal and cultural identity Michael Chandler
9:30 10:00 Cultural continuity as a hedge against suicide Christopher Lalonde
10:00 10:30 Discussion
10:30 10:45 Break
10:45 11:15 Locating violence against First Nations children: The use of space and place to construct the violated subject Jo-Anne Fiske
11:15 11:45 Dislocation/relocation, disconnection/reconnection: Narratives of addiction and healing in Vancouvers inner city Dara Culhane
11:45 12:15 Political violence and trauma-related disorders in the Peruvian highlands
12:15 1:00 Discussion
Wednesday, June 5, 9 AM 1 PM
Rethinking Cultural Idioms of Distress
9:00 9:30 British Nerve(s)! Sushrut Jadhav
9:30 10:00 The scar and its reason: Sovereignty, will, and the sign of the operation in India Lawrence Cohen
10:00 10:30 Imprinting embodied memories on a new world Ellen Corin
10:30 10:45 Break
10:45 11:15 Cultural idioms of distress and the psycho-bodily consequences of
childhood misery Douglas Hollan
11:15 11:45 The Heart (Kalb): Where body, memory and identity meet Kemal Sayar
11:45 12:15 Reflections on embodiment Laurence Kirmayer
12:15 1:00 Discussion & Conclusion of Conference
Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask explores for the first time on film one of the most influential theorists of the anti-colonial movements of the twentieh century. Fanons two major works Black Skin, White Mask and The Wretched of the Earth were pioneering studies of the psychological impact of racism on both colonized and colonizer. Jean-Paul Sartre described Fanon as the figure through whose voice the Third World finds and speaks to itself. This innovative film biography restores Fanon to his rightful place at the center of contemporary discussions of post-colonial identity. Isaac Julien, the celebrated black British director of such provocative films as Looking for Langston and Young Soul Rebels, reveals not just the facts of Fanons brief but remarkably eventful life but his long and tortuous inner journey. Julien elegantly weaves together interviews with family members and friends, documentary footage, readings from Fanons work and moving dramatizations of crucial moments in Fanons life. Cultural critics Stuart Hall and Franoise Verges position Fanons work in his own time and draw out its implications for our own. The film follows Fanon from his birth in 1925 on the island of Martinique, through medical training in France and subsequent disillusionment which results in Black Skin, White Mask. Leaving France, Fanon worked at a psychiatric hospital in Algeria where he joined the liberation struggle then underway and wrote The Wretched of the Earth, recognized as the bible of the decolonisation movement. Fanon died of leukemia in 1961 as nations across Africa were winning the independence for which he fought.
Brown Psychiatrists, White Patients: Postcolonial Encounters Sushrut Jadhav (University College London). To date, published literature on cross-cultural aspects of doctor-patient encounters in Western European and North American settings have exclusively focussed on White western mental health professionals and their health institutions managing Black and Asian patients. Additionally, over the past few decades, there have been a steadily growing number of overseas psychiatrists, including those of South Asian origin, working both within the British National Health Service as well as in British clinical academic institutions. This paper will examine clinical encounters in the reverse, including their impact on mental health services and on British Psychiatry. The presentation will also consider the implication of unexpected findings from a recently completed study carried out in Northern England and locate this within the wider framework of postcolonial encounters and the south Asian diaspora.
Remembering the Void Cecile Rousseau (McGill). The family separation experience of refugees can be understood as an ambiguous loss where shared family memories are protected in order to avoid partially the pain of the absence. When reunification occurs the family members have to recreate continuity in spite of the multiple denied gaps that exists among them. Among the different strategies that the families put forward, the capacity of evoke a personal, familial on collective history of previous losses and void appear protective, as if the memory of life discontinuities was representing the possibility to recreate permanently partial coherence out of apparent chaos.
Foreign space: Inside and Outside - Radhika Santhanam (University of Queensland)
In this talk, I explore the terrain of 'foreignness' from a therapist's viewpoint. During 1999 and 2000, I worked as a member of the Cultural Consultation Service in Montreal. This presentation will be based on self-reflective questioning of my transitory migration or sojourn in Montreal. The tapestry that evolves has as many different strands from my perspective as it has from the perspectives of my clients and the systems I worked with. The fluidity of concepts like identity, memory, knowledge and experience in this context challenges our 'formulated' thinking space and the credibility of normative definitions. The need for self-reflection on transitory identities is likely to be amplified in the coming decades, as therapists from different cultures, with diverse training, and distinct childhood experiences come together to make clinical and experiential sense of the narratives they encounter in dialogue with clients.
The South Bank Show - Shirin Neshat (A Film by Susan Shaw)
Shirin Neshat is an exiled Iranian artist living in New York. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, she has been engaged in an effort to understand, and communicate, the schism between the Muslim and Judeo Christian worlds - perhaps the most important ideological and cultural conflict of the 21st Century. In this film, we follow Shirin as she makes three new films dealing with the themes of madness, apocalypse and desire - incendiary themes in the context of today's Iran, where Shirin had originally hoped to shoot the films. The clerical backlash in Iran and the death of hopes for democracy put an end to those plans, and the three films, including a collaboration with the world famous minimalist composer Philip Glass, were shot in Morocco in 2000 and completed in New York.
The Persistence of Personal and Cultural identity Michael Chandler (University of British Columbia) This program of cross-cultural research explores the course of identity development in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth by focusing attention on the different developmental routes by means of which such young persons come to some workable understanding of their own temporal persistence, or self-continuity. Our findings indicate that, while non-native youth ordinarily work to identify structural features of themselves thought to somehow stand outside of time, First Nations youth more often rely on relational accounts that ground their sense of personal persistence in what Dennett (1984) describes as a narrative center of gravity. These findings fuel efforts to better understand the different rates of suicide that characterize aboriginal and culturally mainstream youth.
Cultural Continuity as a Hedge Against Suicide Christopher E. Lalonde (University of Victoria) First Nations persons are commonly believed to be at substantially higher risk of suicide than their non-native peers. For the period 1987-2000, First Nations persons were 2-3 times more likely to die by their own hand than were other British Columbians. Buried within these grim population level statistics, however, is the more heartening fact that half of the BCs First Nations recorded no suicides in this same time period. Our ongoing research shows that suicide risk is strongly influenced by efforts to preserve and promote First Nations culture and to gain or maintain control over key aspects of community life.
Locating Violence Against First Nations Children: The Use of Space and Place to Construct the Violated Subject Jo-Anne Fiske (University of Northern British Columbia). In this presentation, I examine how the violated subject of the residential school system is created through a specific social production of place. The violated subject comes into focus through a complex set of spatial practices that are simultaneously ideological, theological, political, cultural and structural. To explore this, I compare the location of domestic violence to colonial violence located with the space of the Indian residential school. Drawing on theories of spatiality interwoven with an avowed feminist praxis, I explicate some assumptions about the spatial production of the subject, drawing on a range of theorists from urban planning and cultural geography, through phenomenology to postcolonialism. I then turn to the spatial production of the violated subject in the domestic realm in order to identify ideological and theological narratives that constitute credibility and follow this with an examination of the spatial production of the violated subject in the colonial institution. Here I draw on the notion of the religious community as an extension of the domestic realm and the role of this domesticity in (dis)placing the wild as a marked feature of civilization. I then take up the production of privacy and denial, of not seeing the interior of domesticated space, which leads to a refusal to accept social-collective responsibility. I argue that what unites domestic and colonial institutions are commonsense perceptions of the home and the residential school as moral places bounded by privacy and a naturalized gendered hierarchy. In such popular perceptions, each place is understood to be separated from the public site of common responsibility by a naturalized boundary between order and chaos.
Dislocation/Relocation, Disconnection/Reconnection: Narratives of Addiction and Healing in Vancouvers Inner City Dara Culhane (Simon Fraser University) Since 1998, when the City of Vancouver Health Department declared a public health emergency in response to the news that HIV+ infection among residents of Vancouvers Downtown Eastside exceeded rates anywhere else in the developed world, this inner city neighbourhood has become a focal point in emerging local, national, and international debates about the causes of, and solutions to, widespread practices of intravenous injection of illicit drugs and the spread of HIV+/AIDS. For the last three years, I have been involved in collaborative ethnographic research that has included in depth interviews with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women living in the Downtown Eastside who are, or have been, IV drug users, many of whom are now diagnosed with HIV+/AIDS. Based on this work, I argue that biomedical theories that reduce and limit the etiology of drug addiction to underlying mental illness, and rely solely on pharmacological cures are inadequate for understanding increasing IV drug use, or for planning effective interventions. Acknowledging the complexities of the practices; the specificities of history, politics and culture; and the necessarily conditional nature of any solutions is a more productive starting point. Many Aboriginal people recounted long histories of dislocation, disconnection, incarceration, and discrimination, frequently repeatedly experienced over many generations. Many spoke too of equally long histories of alcohol and drug use that mark their personal and collective histories. The life stories of both active and recovering drug users pointed to the importance for healing of reconnection with homes, families and communities, of reclaiming pride in Aboriginal identity, and of economic relief and security.
Political violence and trauma-related disorders in the Peruvian highlands Duncan Pedersen (McGill). In the Peruvian highlands, villages made up of refugees, returnees and resilient populations are living in a post-war scenario framed by the presence of multiple stressors, the history of subjugation and sustained economic and political hardship and persistent memories of more than a decade of extreme violence and terror, atrocities and war. The medical model of trauma has obvious limitations in capturing the complex ways in which individuals, communities and whole societies experience massive trauma, socialise their grief and reconstitute a meaningful existence. Among the Quechua, the sequelae of trauma are experienced as a cluster of signs and symptoms transcending the narrow boundaries of PTSD, manifested in local idioms of distress and diverse somatoform disorders. Whatever structural, social and cultural factors lie upstream in the sequence of causes and health determinants, at some point downstream there are psychological and biological processes at work, linking the macro-contextual determinants (the political economy) with the micro-worlds of individual experience (trauma, mental illness). What are then the bio-psycho-social pathways, if any, between poverty, violence, social disintegration and health outcomes? How does this web of causes, linkages and pathways determine the level of suffering, disease and death in a given population? By what mechanisms do social forces ranging from poverty to racism and political violence become embodied as individual experience?
The scar and its reason: Sovereignty, will, and the sign of the operation in India Lawrence Cohen (University of California, Berkeley) Photos of men and women with their flanks turned toward the camera tracing the line of their nephrectomy scar have become ubiquitous in the contemporary investment of global print and electronic capital in representing India. In this talk I move through and beyond the immediate material and technical stakes in the transplantation industry to take up modes of marginal being in the world I term operability and bioavailability. Linking transplantion debate to earlier and ongoing expert and popular concerns around "family planning" and sterilization, I frame the operation as a critical mode of developmental reason that stands in a metaphoric relation to the will. I argue that the scarboth the new media fetish of the flank shot and the wound of castration that it is consistently framed againstbecomes a critical signature of the state, and reflect on the work of surgical memory in the postcolony.
Imprinting Embodied Memories on a New World Ellen Corin (McGill) Je compte traiter du rapport la religion et la spiritualit dans le contexte de l'immigration, en contrastant des observations relatives aux communauts africaines/afro-caribbennes et indiennes. Je vais examiner la manire dont ce rapport en est un de langage corporel et d'affect autant que de croyance, comment il met en jeu la possibilit d'avoir accs une srie de ressources et de liens sociaux mais aussi comment il soutient un travail sur l'exprience intrieure singulire, un travail dont les lignes de force varient en fonction des cultures d'origine. Ce dernier travail implique la fois un rancrage mais aussi un dgagement par rapport aux cultures de dpart. De faon plus gnrale, je voudrais examiner l'hypothse selon laquelle l'immigration la fois rend explicite mais aussi dplace des lments importants du contexte culturel d'origine, essentiellement en modifiant l'accent plac sur certains de ses aspects en sorte que la culture d'origine se trouve reflte comme sous un verre grossissant et dformant la fois.
Cultural Idioms of Distress and the Psycho-Bodily Consequences of Childhood Misery Douglas Hollan (UCLA). In this paper, I examine how men in two very different parts of the world (Toraja, Indonesia and West Los Angeles) come to remember and re-experience the misery of their childhood and adolescence and the consequences of this for their psycho-bodily health in adulthood. I argue that cultural idioms of distress not only shape how childhood experiences are inscribed on the mind and body of the growing person, but also how these idioms influence the ways an adult constructs and experiences (physically, emotionally, cognitively) memories of childhood.
The Heart (Kalb): Where Body, Memory and Identity Meet Kemal Sayar (Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey). In Islamic spirituality, man, and consequently the human body, is made in the image of God, which means a priori that it manifests something absolute, unlimited and perfect. The heart (dil in Persian and kalb in Arabic) occupies a central role in the Sufi view of the psyche as well as the traditional conception of the human body. In Al-Farabis formulation the heart is the ruling organ which is not ruled by any other organ of the body. For Rumi, the ultimate center of human consciousness, ones inmost reality or meaning as known by God, is called the heart. The heart is a catalyst between affect and thought, religious values and above all the human beings constant drive and search for existential communion. In Rumis poetry intellect and love are juxtaposed: intellect is necessary to give us information, but what the heart craves is direct vision. According to the spiritual psychology of Rumi we must escape from our illusory selfhood and dwell in the heart. Pain and suffering cannot be overcome on this level of existence, but must be transformed inwardly into the joy that lies at the center of the heart. Whoever is more awake has greater pain the greatest misfortune is not to feel the pain of separation (from God). Heart is also defined as the throne of God so according to Ibn Al-Arabi, to the extent that a person verifies the nature of the things by means of his heart, he can understand God and cosmos. But to the extent that he follows the way of his reason and rational faculty he will remain in constant constriction and binding. There has not been a mind-body split in Sufi psychocosmology: heart is the locus for knowledge as well as sentiments and feelings. At the same time, heart represents an upper level of consciousness that transcends intellect. The focus on heart has reflections in the daily practice of psychiatrists in the Islamic world. Anthropological studies document that the traditional view of heart as locus of human spiritual life is still valid in popular culture.
Reflections on Embodiment Laurence Kirmayer (McGill). The study of the cognitive processes that underlie metaphor provides a model of how events on one level of representation or experience can be transformed by representations in another domain. The metaphoric process creates parallel worlds (of imagination or possibility) that can be inhabited as alternatives to the immediacy of pain. This presentation will consider some important sites of metaphoric mediation where social theories meet up with contemporary cognitive neuroscience. In particularly, I will consider notions of face, stance or position, and the experience of temporal duration. Each of these basic aspects of experience gives rise to bodily metaphors that communicate and condition the experience of pain and suffering and provide opportunities for healing transformation.
Monday, June 3 at 7 PM
A reading by acclaimed poet
one of the most beautiful and necessary voices in American poetry today Sharon Olds
Toi Derricotte, born in Detroit, Michigan, has published four books of poetry and a memoir. Her latest book, Tender (University of Pittsburgh Press 1997), received the Paterson Poetry Prize for 1998. Her memoir, The Black Notebooks (W.W.Norton, 1997), was a New York Times notable book of the year and received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award in Non-Fiction (1998), the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for non-fiction from The Cleveland Foundation (1998. In 2000, The Black Notebooks was translated into French by Phillippe Moreau (Noire, la couleur de ma peau blanche). Her book of poetry, Captivity, (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989) has been through four printings. In 2001, she was a judge for the National Book Awards.
Among her many honors and awards, Ms. Derricotte has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; the United Black Artists Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award (1993); the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America (1985), two Pushcart Prizes (1998 & 1989); the Columbia Book Award from the Poetry Committee Book of the Greater Washington DC Area (1990), and the First Dudley Randall Award for National Contributions to Literature by Detroit Writers Guild (2001).
Ms. Derricotte is Professor, English Department, University of Pittsburgh, and has taught in the graduate creative writing programs at New York University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and Mills College. She has been a leader at many summer writing workshops throughout the country, including Breadloaf and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. In 1999-2000 she was the Delta Sigma Theta Endowed Chair in Poetry at Xavier University. Ms. Derricotte is co-founder of Cave Canem, the historic workshop retreat for African American poets.
Gilles Bibeau, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Universit de Montreal. Has extensive experience in ethnographic research in Africa, South America and India. The author of many books, he is currently working on cultural history of Canada and Quebec identity.
Michael Chandler, Ph.D. is Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Training in Developmental Psychology at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the intersection of normal social-cognitive development and mental health. With Chris Lalonde, he is engaged in studies of adolescent identity formation and suicidality in Aboriginal communities funded by SSHRC.
Lawrence Cohen, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Anthropology and of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and Co-Director of the Medical Anthropology Program. Trained successively in religion, medicine, and anthropology at Harvard, he received his PhD in 1992 for research on senility and dementia in north India. This work led to an award-winning 1998 book, No Aging in India: Alzheimer's, the Bad Family, and Other Modern Things. For the past decade he has worked on the cultural politics of same-sex sex and sexual difference in India, and more recently on issues arising out of the globalization of organ transplantation.
Wesley Crichlow, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Carleton University, teaches criminal law, human rights and critical race theory and has been active in human rights and antiracism work in Canada.
Dara Culhane, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. From 1992 to 1994, she served as Deputy Director of Social and Cultural Research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Currently she is PI on a project examining the impact of safe housing on the health of low income women in Vancouvers downtown Eastside. She is the author of Error in Judgment: The Politics of Medical Care in an Indian/White Community (1993) and The Pleasure of the Crown: Anthropology, Law and First Nations (Stoddart, 1997).
Jo-Anne Fiske, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia where she holds cross-appointments in First Nations Studies and Womens/Gender Studies. Her research interests lie in questions of legal anthropology, social justice and health practices. She has published widely, most recently in Atlantis, Journal of Legal Pluralism, Western Journal of Nursing Research, and BC Studies. She is co-author (with Betty Patrick, chief Lake Babine Nation) of Cis Dideen Kat: When the Plumes Rise, The Way of the Lake Babine, Nation. She is currently working on a manuscript, The Im/moral Frontier: Contested Histories of the Residential School.
Douglas Hollan, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology and Luckman Distinguished Teacher at UCLA, and a senior instructor at the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the author of numerous articles on the culture and psychology of the Toraja of Indonesia, and co-author of Contentment and Suffering: Culture and Experience in Toraja (Columbia University Press, 1994) and The Thread of Life: Toraja Reflections on the Life Cycle (University of Hawaii Press, 1996).
Sushrut Jadhav, MBBS, MD, MRCPsych, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in Cross-Cultural Psychiatry, University College London, Hon. Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, St. Pancras hospital, London, Founding Editor, Anthropology & Medicine journal and Programme Director, UCL MRCPsych courses. He has worked on projects concerned with homeless population and developing services, research and training in cultural consultations with the migrant and refugee communities in the UK. He is working on developing training and research projects in collaboration with the national institute of mental health sciences in Bangalore and in other areas of India, including amongst tribal and dalat populations.
Yolene Jumelle, PhD., LL.B. is a judge with the Tribunal administratif du Quebec, section des affaires sociale. From 1989-1996, she was a judge on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. She trained originally as a social worker, and has a doctorate in sociology. She has also worked as a journalist and co-founded many Canadian groups concerned with refugees, immigrants, racism and free speech, including: the Association of Ethnic Journalists of Quebec, Maison Haiti, and la Maisonne. She was vice president of the antiracism council CRAAR and has served with many community projects in the ethnic milieu of Haiti, Canada and Qubec.
Christopher Lalonde, PhD. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Victoria. His research interests include identity development and social development in childhood and adolescence. With Michael Chandler, he is engaged in studies of adolescent identity development and sociality in Aboriginal communities funded by SSHRC.
Myrna Lashley, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Vice-Dean, John Abbott College and a research associate of the Culture & Mental Health research Unit, of the Jewish General Hospital.
Radhika Santhanam, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer, North Queensland Health Equalities Promotion Unit, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Australia. She was a pediatric psychologist at New Childrens Hospital, Sydney and a research collaborator with the McGill Cultural Consultation Service project. Currently she is working on mental health issues amongst Aboroginal communities in northern Australia.
Kemal Sayar, M.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey and a widely published poet and television journalist.
Carlo Sterlin, MD is Director of the Transcultural Psychiatric Service of Hpital Jean-Talon and Consultant, CLSC Ctes-des-Neiges.
Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, Ph.D. is Director of Research, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa. From 1992-97 she was Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Concordia University. (1992-97). She is a former Board member of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations (1987-91); and a founding member of the Boards of Waseskun Native Half-way House (1989-), the Montreal Friendship Centre (1974-82) on which she served as President, and the Native North American Studies Institute and Manitou Community College (1970-75). Dr. Valaskakis is the daughter of an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and was raised on the Lac du Flambeau reservation in Wisconsin.
Rahul Varma is a writer and artistic director of the theatre company Teesri Duniya Theatre, which is dedicated to artistic diversity. He won the jurors award at the Quebec Drama Festival,for his plays Job Stealer and Isolated Incident and has written many other plays including Bhopal, and Counteroffensive. He is active in social action projects with youth and ethnic communities.
Ellen Corin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Psychiatry, McGill University and Researcher at the Psychosocial Research Division, Douglas Hospital Research Centre.
Jaswant Guzder, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University. Director of the Day Treatment Program in Child Psychiatry and Co-Director, Cultural Consultation Service at the Jewish General Hospital.
Laurence J. Kirmayer, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, and Director, Culture and Mental Health Research Unit, Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Sir Mortimer B. DavisJewish General Hospital.
Duncan Pedersen, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and Director, Psychosocial Research Division, Douglas Hospital Research Centre.
Ccile Rousseau, M.D., M.Sc., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University and Director, Transcultural Child Psychiatry Clinic, Montreal Childrens Hospital.