Windsor Medical Students Learning About Indigenous Culture

For the first time medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine at the University of Windsor are being exposed to Indigenous culture.

It's now mandatory for the students in first or second-year to participate in a learning session on the subject. The session includes a video presentation by Ry Moran of the Truth and Reconciliation National Centre which is followed by a Blanket Exercise.

Kathryn Pasquech is the Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator with the Aboriginal Education Centre.

She says this exposure to aboriginal culture will broaden the understanding for medical students:

"The initiatives taking place are going to give a better understanding of what aboriginal people go through and have been through and if by chance these doctors start working in Indigenous communities they're going to be much better prepared to work in those communities," says Pasquech.

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Kathryn Pasquech, Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator with the Aboriginal Education Centre (by AM800's Peter Langille)

First-year student David Shih says this is not a topic he knows a lot about.

"I don't think we're exposed to much indigenous culture in Windsor, Ontario," says Shih. "I have maybe a couple of friends of Indigenous background, but there is not much exposure for the general population."

Second-year student Haider Abed grew up in Montreal and Windsor and Indigenous culture was academic to him.

"I acknowledged there were a lot of Indigenous people in Canada, but it was not something I was ever exposed to and it was only meeting other people on electives and going around to different places that's when I found out this is an actual reality, this is an actual thing we have to learn," says Abed.

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Medical student Haider Abed (by AM800's Peter Langille)

Schulich School of Medicine Associate Dean Gerry Cooper says that while he hopes graduates will practice medicine in the Windsor area, he knows they need to be aware of Indigenous culture if practicing in more remote communities.