In December 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report that highlighted some of the disparities in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada, including an infant mortality rate ranging from 1.7 to over 4 times the non-Indigenous average and a diabetes rate nearly twice as high among
Indigenous people compared to non-Indigenous aged 45 and older. The Commission also called upon governments to act towards increasing the number of Indigenous healthcare workers in Canada.
According to Canada’s 2016 Census of Population, more than 1.67 million people in Canada (4.9% of the population of Canada) self-identified as an Indigenous person and yet less than one percent (760) of the 93,985 specialists and general practitioners in Canada identify as Indigenous.
Indigenous peoples face significant barriers to post-secondary education. As a result, far fewer First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in Canada have a university degree than non-Indigenous Canadians. Achieving a medical degree is an even steeper climb due to a variety of factors, one of which is financial.
CMF is working with Indspire, a national Indigenous charity, to bridge that gap through the establishment of Indspire’s only bursary focused on future physicians going to any medical school in Canada. With the support of funding partners like CMF, Indspire provides financial support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students across Canada to assist them in completing their post-secondary education.
Bursaries like CMF’s Bursaries for Indigenous Medical Students are matched by the Government of Canada, allowing Indspire to be double the impact for students.
The “Calls to Action” envisioned a role for all Canadians in improving health outcomes for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Education is vital to the reconciliation process. Together with our Indigenous partners and generous Canadian donors we can do our part and help increase the number of Indigenous physicians in Canada.
Donate now towards CMF’s Bursaries for Medical Students for which Indspire will be able to secure government funding to double your impact.