Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street, Room 108
  • January 18, 2017 from 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Speaker: Michelle A. Mullen, MHP, PhD, Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Ottawa, Bioethicist, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Canadians wishing to see the developing world do not need a passport. Despite Canada’s G-8 economy, there are aboriginal communities whose circumstances fall far below the national average. Fundamental services are critical challenges. Over a decade ago we undertook to deliver tertiary health services to the children and youth of Qikiqtani region of Nunavut. The task proved more problematic than anticipated. Geographic, cultural and linguistic distances generated poor understanding on both sides. In providing tertiary care to communities with scarcely basic health services, some very medically fragile children required such complex care that they were unable to return to their communities of origin. Mindful of the historical disenfranchisement of aboriginal persons, processes have been undertaken toward slow improvement. Key values include that the programme be Northern led and supported by the South and that success relies on attention to aboriginal voices, traditional knowledge and values. Providing excellent service with the goals of reunification of children with family and repatriation to community is central. This paper reflects on the process and the very long view needed to develop ethical health care services in the context of postcolonial aboriginal experiences.

This seminar is free and open to the public. No registration required.