Increasing the number of Indigenous people in Canada’s health workforce

Dr. Tait’s innovative Indigenous Mentorship Network Program will recruit and retain Indigenous students through respectful outreach

Dr. Caroline Tait
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Saskatchewan

Canada’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended training 10,000 Indigenous people in health careers by 2006. Achieving this goal has remained a challenge, however, as many postsecondary institutions do not meld their scientific mentorship with the Ways of Knowing or culture of their Indigenous students.

Through her CIHR-funded Indigenous Mentorship Network Program, Dr. Tait is studying ways to increase the number of Indigenous postsecondary students, postdoctoral fellows, new investigators, faculty, and senior scholars at universities and colleges. This involves mentoring Indigenous students in a way that enables them to retain their Indigenous worldviews and life experiences while studying at these institutions.

Dr. Tait’s network will allow participants to connect through annual ceremonies, social media networking, monthly meetings, publication collaborations, lecture series, health research awards and scholarships, and outreach to Indigenous undergraduate and high school students. Her team will then measure whether the network is helping to recruit new Indigenous investigators and students on an annual basis.

“By recruiting Indigenous students through effective outreach, this network will increase the number of Indigenous people in Canada’s health workforce and recognize the value of traditional Indigenous knowledge to science overall.”

Dr. Tait.
Date modified: