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Quebec, Aug 17 (Canadian-Media): In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, the federal government announced last year it would invest $8 million over five years to establish the mentorship network for First Nations, Métis and Inuit (indigenous groups) health researchers, media reports said.
Consequently, Kahnawake based, a newly launched Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network (QIMN), has sought to provide culturally-grounded support for Indigenous students across Quebec who want to seek careers in the health sector.
Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network. Image credit: Facebook page
uebec's network was officially launched in February, and it's the only one out of the eight that is based in a First Nations community.
Adriana Poulette, the project coordinator, said the funding will allow the community to foster mentor-mentee relationships, offer scholarships, and hold an annual summer institute.
"Our history of health is so contextualized in this specific context of colonisation. It's a complex situation and I think that any research mentoring is going to be helpful, but this particular network is focused on Indigenous communities building capacity."
"We do need more representation in all health-related fields. There's a growing number, but we're all very stretched with demands," said Treena Delormier, an associate professor in the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University and one of the Indigenous mentors with the QIMN.
The network is funded by the Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Delormier is involved in nutrition and health promotion interventions to address the social concerns of health due to the inequalities Indigenous people experience.
"There's been a lot of particulars in it with respect to the history of research that has been in our communities which has not always been positive," she said.
Having been benefited from great mentors in her own research work, Delormier said she wanted to pay that forward.
"For me, it is just like a natural part of research training, especially when we're talking about health research and Indigenous communities," she said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)