Expand the mandate of the Office of Indigenous Medical Education

Excellence through Equity

Excellence through Equity

Expand the mandate of the Office of Indigenous Medical Education to support learners, faculty and staff across the education continuum while identifying appropriate resources and Indigenous leadership.

We will endeavor to take a holistic and humanistic approach in cultivating and promoting a learning and working environment in which is culturally safe and where Indigenous history, values and knowledge are respected and valued whilst co creating an eco-system of partnership and wellness.

We will endeavor to work collaboratively, in partnership, in an integrative and synergistic way to facilitate and provide guidance for the development of policy and procedures as related to Indigenous Health Education within the Faculty of Medicine grounded in traditional Indigenous values, knowledge and ways of knowing. Key collaborators (staff, faculty and learners) will have access to culturally safe forums for discussion of issues related to policy, education and will reflect Indigenous wisdom and leadership.

2019 Dean's Report Highlights: This working group is building and deepening meaningful relationships with Indigenous populations throughout our region. In addition, an agreement was reached to establish a centralized Indigenous collaborative learning/working space at Women’s College Hospital, projected to open by October 2019. 

The Team

Decanal Sponsor: Salvatore Spadafora

It will be imperative to establish partnerships between Indigenous and Faculty of Medicine communities as well as engage, later in our progress, the other Health Professions Faculties and broader University of Toronto Community. We will endeavor to engage a mosaic of intentional involvement with community leaders (Indigenous) to ensure our efforts are not isolated and are guided and led by the Indigenous voice. The following list outlines key collaborators (additional partners will be identified as we move forward): 

Key Collaborator(s)

Internal Faculty of Medicine

  • Vice-Deans of Education:
    • MD Program
    • Post MD Education (PGME & CPD)
    • Graduate and Academic Affairs
    • Partnerships
  • Faculty Lead(s), MD Program, Indigenous Health
  • Faculty Lead(s), Post-MD, Indigenous and Refugee Health
  • Associate Dean, Inclusion and Diversity, Faculty of Medicine
  • Associate Dean, Office of Health Professions Student Affairs (OHPSA)
  • Faculty Lead, Rehabilitation Sciences
  • At least one Indigenous Elder
  • At least one Indigenous Staff member
  • At least one Indigenous learner representative from each education program:
    • MD Program
    • Post MD
    • Graduate Studies including Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Faculty Development representative/resources
  • Education Scientist (Curricular development/evaluation)


  • At least two Indigenous Community Stakeholders
  • Representation from First Nations House

Central University/External to FoM

  • Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo, Director, Indigenous Initiatives or delegate
  • Suzanne Stewart, Director of WB institute at Dalla Lana or delegate Additional collaborators to be identified as required

Working Group Members:

Small effective working groups to be identified early in the process to ensure appropriate and thorough stakeholder consultation.

Lisa Richardson and Jason Pennington, Indigenous Faculty Leads, have been approached and have accepted to co-lead initiatives. Additional Indigenous leadership within the Faculty of Medicine will be identified as we progress.

Additional key stakeholders at this time include:

  • Lynn Wilson
  • Cynthia Whitehead
  • Lisa Robinson Additional potential members are noted above as ‘key collaborators’.

Additional individuals be identified as required

Staff Support

  • Lindsey Fechtig, Project and Administrative Manager, Office of the Education Vice-Deans
  • Coordinator, Office of Indigenous Medical Education
  • Other staff support as required to be identified

2019 Dean's Report Update

A. The working group has accomplished the following to date:

  • Completed initial consultations with various Faculty of Medicine leadership and committees, as well as TAHSN partners.
  • Identified key stakeholders, local clinical champions, elders and learners to populate our small format working groups (on-going).
  • Conducted a review of admissions and supports, recruitment and retention as well as the learning climate and curriculum  within Canada and abroad (on-going).
  • Secured a Memorandum of Understanding with Women’s College Hospital (WCH) to establish a centralized Indigenous collaborative learning/working space has begun to take shape. It is projected that this space will be ready by October 2019. An architect has been enlisted to help the space evolve over the next several months.
  • The partnership with WCH, going forward, will be pivotal in cultivating a learning and working environment in which is culturally safe and where Indigenous history, values and knowledge are intrinsic -embedded in our existing colonial structures. This collaboration/partnership will be integrative and synergistic as we move forward in the development of policies, curricula and programs guided by Indigenous voices and wise practices.  

B. Over the next year, the working group aims to accomplish the following:

  • Establish the Academic Advisory Circle
  • Establish the Community Advisory Circle
  • Establish the Elder’s Councils (one within WCH and one shared between the FoM and Dalla Lana’s Waakebiness-​Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health)
  • Establish formal and informal partnership agreements - both academic and community based
  • Prepare a detailed report based on visits with centres of excellence within Canada and abroad