Chika started the first year of her Medical program identifying as the only Black female in her first year in Medical School- among a class of 259. With the help of Chika’s effort, the university responded with the Black Student Application Process in 2017, an initiative designed to boost the chronically low number of black students applying to medical school and subsequently becoming doctors. Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is now a graduate of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, where she was named the valedictorian of her graduating class and is the first Black woman to be recognized as sole valedictorian, and the first woman in 14 years. Currently, she is a first-year resident doctor in psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Chika’s determination has compelled her to remain proactive in the mentorship of racialized youth, including her roles as co-president of the Black Medical Students Association of U of T, co-founder of the Black Interprofessional Student’s Association of U of T, and co-founder of Black Girl Brunch Toronto. Chika is dedicated to creating networks of support for scholarly and professional advancement within the Black community and beyond. Additionally, Chika remains active as a researcher on the topics of equitable admissions practices within medicine, experiences of Black physicians and medical trainees, and the impacts of mentorship on the trajectory of minority medical trainees and staff.
Dr. James Makokis is from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences ('04), a Master of Health Science in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto ('06) and a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Ottawa ('10). He received certification from the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program at the University of British Columbia ('12). Currently he works as the sole Family Physician at Kehewin Health Services on Kehewin Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta. Dr. Makokis also leads a transgender focused medical practice in south Edmonton and has been featured on the CBC, AJ+, and the Thompson Reuters Foundation for his work in this area. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, Adjunct Faculty in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and has taught at Yellowhead Tribal College in Edmonton. He was recently named the inaugural Medical Director of Shkaabe Makwa at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Dr. Makokis is currently collaborating on a CIHR Indigenous Gender Wellness Development Grant research project entitled "Strengthening Relations through cultural and arts based practices to promote resiliency and well-being for two-spirit youth and their families." His strong connections to his cultural beliefs, nehiyaw maskihkiya (Cree medicines), and preventative health through the Cree medical system, spirituality, and Two-spirit perspective has helped him save lives within the LGBTQ2 and First Nation communities. In 2019, Dr. Makokis participated alongside his husband as "Team Ahkameyimok" on Season 7 of The Amazing Race Canada and won. They were the first Indigenous Two-Spirit married couple to win the show and were identified as "Fan Favorites" from the beginning. Alongside their appearances for the show, Dr. Makokis and his husband Anthony Johnson are fundraising to build a Cree cultural healing centre on Kehewin Cree Nation and have fundraised $100k so far with a goal of reaching $250k. Dr. Makokis currently serves on the Board of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute of Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto and Indigenous Advisory Council at Macewan University, and is the former Board Chair of the inaugural Indigenous Wisdom Council of Alberta Health Services. He has previously served on the boards of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, Indspire, and the Two Spirit Circle of Edmonton Society. Dr. Makokis is the recipient of the Indspire Award (formerly called the National Aboriginal Achievement Award), Macewan University's Distinguished Alumni Award (2019), and "The Rising Star Award" in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa (2020). He lives in Treaty Number Six Territory near Edmonton with his husband Anthony and their dog Lucy. Dr. Makokis is currently running as a candidate in the next Canadian Medical Association Election, and if elected would be the first Indigenous and Two Spirit President of the CMA in its 154 year history.
INTRODUCTORY THANKSGIVING ADDRESS
Thanyehténhas (Nathan Brinklow) is Turtle Clan from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. He grew up without the language in a community that had largely lost its heritage language as an everyday spoken language. Nathan’s interest in the language was sparked through the “Mohawk Hymns” he sang with his grandmother as a young man and following his formal studies, he went on to study at Shatiwennakará:tats, the intensive adult language program at Tyendinaga. He now teaches in that program. He is also a professor teaching the Mohawk language in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Queen’s.
COMMUNITY PANEL PARTICIPANTS
Theme: Allyship and mentorship of Black and Indigenous youth
Moderator: Dr. Karen Lawford
Dr. Lawford is an Aboriginal midwife (Namegosibiing, Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty 3) and a Registered midwife (Ontario). Her research focuses on the provision of maternity care for those who live on reserve and understanding the barriers to equitable reproductive health services.
Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde
Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde is an accomplished researcher, educator and clinician, who has been recently appointed as Chair of the Commission on Black Medical Students at Queen’s University on October 1st, 2020. Since he moved to Canada, Dr. Ayonrinde served as the Medical Director for the Early Psychosis Intervention Program and is now the Clinical Director for Community Mental Programs with Providence Care. His current work at Queen’s is with cross-departmental appointments as an Associate Professor in both the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Ayonrinde’s clinical experience spans a wide area not limited to but including: addiction/substance misuse psychiatry, emergency and intensive care psychiatry, and cross-cultural mental health. Beyond this, Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde has a prolific publication record, having published in areas of culture and youth mental health, cannabis, racial trauma and the history of medicine in peer reviewed journals and book chapters. Highly sought after for his expertise, Dr. Ayonrinde has acted in consultation, training and advisory roles for clinicians and clinical services in several countries such as Australia, China, Malta, Nigeria and the United States. In a similar vein, he has established close working relationships with a number of marginalized indigenous populations globally.
Dr. Amrita Roy
Amrita Roy, PhD, MD, CCFP, is a family physician and a researcher at Queen’s University. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, with a cross-appointment in the Department of Public Health Sciences. An MD-PhD clinician-scientist trained in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, Dr. Roy has expertise in mixed- and multiple-methods approaches to health research. She is additionally experienced in community-based and participatory research approaches. As the Canadian-born child of South Asian immigrants, Dr. Roy identifies as a settler striving to be an ally to Indigenous peoples. With a research focus in Indigenous health, Dr. Roy works in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples in community-engaged research centred on the principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP). Apart from Indigenous health, Dr. Roy’s other areas of research interest include immigrant and refugee health, women’s health, youth health, and global health.
Dr. Peggy DeJong
Dr. Peggy DeJong received her Honors Bachelor of Science (Health Sciences) from the University of Waterloo and her medical degree from Queen’s University. Her clinical training consisted of Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Queen’s University. She completed an additional fellowship year at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital in Echocardiography. She joined the Division of Cardiology at Queen’s University in 2014. Dr. DeJong’s clinical practice focuses on valvular heart disease and general cardiology. She participates in the CCU and general cardiology ward duty roster. Aside from inpatient care, she also shares an outpatient valve clinic, a general cardiology clinic with a focus on thoracic aortic disease, and reads echocardiograms. She supervises treadmill stress test, stress echos and performs trans-esophageal echocardiograms. She also participates in the E-consult service, which allows physicians in the LHIN to quickly and efficiently consult specialists to address issues that do not require an in-person assessment. At Queen’s University, Dr. DeJong served as the Director of the Adult Cardiology Residency Training Program from July 2015 to December 2019. As part of the Queen’s University competency based medical education (CBME) plan, she has been the CBME Lead for Cardiology since 2015, and has created the curriculum and assessment plan to successfully launch CBME for all incoming Cardiology residents at Queen’s since July 2017. As the only Cardiology program in Canada currently using CBME, she is helping to provide practical experience and advice to the future national launch of CBME across the remainder of the Cardiology programs through her work with the subspecialty committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. DeJong’s chief academic interest is medical education. She is working on a Masters in Medical Education from Dundee University, Scotland (supported by the Department of Medicine, Queen’s University). She also has a significant interest in advancing Indigenous health and incorporating indigenous health issues into medical education. She received a medical education program grant from the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO) to pursue an advanced certificate for Indigenous educators in Indigegogy. This has enhanced her abilities to address indigenous health issues in medical education as well as better support indigenous students in medicine.
Edward Thomas is a part-time Ph.D. student in Cultural Studies at Queen's University working under the supervision of historians Dr. Barrington Walker and Dr. Jeffrey Brison. Edward's research focuses on Black medical students who studied at Queen's University in the early 20th Century and the school's racial exclusion policy between 1918 and 1965. His findings have resulted in the official repudiation of the policy, the issuance of a formal apology and conferral of a posthumous degree, which has garnered international media attention. Thomas' theoretical focus is the historiography of anti-Black racism in the Canadian medical profession and an analysis of how historical erasures are constructed and how they mediate institutionalized racial differentiation. He is also the Associate Director of External Relations at the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute where he manages partnerships, communications and knowledge transfer projects.
Sabreena Lawal is a third year medical student at Queen’s University. She is a founding member of Queen’s Black Medical Students’ Association. Sabreena is also the Ontario Regional Director for the Black Medical Students' Association of Canada, a student-led organization which strives to represent and advocate for Black learners across the country.