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Canadian Paediatric Society

Conference brings together international perspectives on Aboriginal health

Posted on Feb 3 2015 by the Canadian Paediatric Society | Permalink

Topic(s): Professional educationAdvocacy

Paediatricians who work with Aboriginal families should consider attending the next International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health, says Dr. Sam Wong, chair of the CPS First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health Committee and co-chair of the conference planning committee.

“If you’re a paediatrician who works with First Nations, Inuit or Métis children, you’ll find this conference enlightening and useful—especially from a cultural point of view,” said Dr. Wong, who divides his time between Edmonton and Yellowknife. “It will give you another perspective on health care delivery to your patients. A paediatrician will learn about issues facing Aboriginal children ranging from infectious diseases to cultural issues.”

The 6th International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health, co-hosted by the CPS and the American Academy of Pediatrics, takes place in Ottawa from March 20-22, 2015.

“With this year’s conference in Ottawa, we’ll see a nice mix of Inuit as well as First Nations and Métis topics,” said Dr. Wong.

Sessions will cover issues such as behavioural health, respiratory illness, injury prevention and early childhood development—including a session on epigenetics, which Dr. Wong calls a “new, hot topic in paediatrics.”

The conference will also provide opportunities to network with colleagues from around the world.

“Some issues are international in nature,” said Dr. Wong. “The conference is a good way to interact with health care professionals on both sides of the border and internationally, to learn about new programs that are successful elsewhere. People in different locations may be facing the same issue but may have found a way to address it successfully.”

One of the most highly anticipated sessions is a youth panel on resilience, moderated by Wab Kinew, interim Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations at the University of Winnipeg and a correspondent with Aljazeera America. Mr. Kinew is also an award-winning journalist and hip-hop artist, and is a member of the Midewin.

“One of the best ways to learn about issues facing First Nations, Inuit and Métis children is to include them in the discussion about their health and well being.” said Dr. Wong.

Mr. Kinew will also deliver an opening keynote address, and actor Adam Beach will close the conference.

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Last updated: Feb 2 2015