February 5, 2009


National conference to focus on aboriginal health issues

Hamilton, ON. February 5, 2009 –The growing divide between traditional aboriginal health, healing practices and Western-based medicine will be the focus of a national conference at McMaster University this weekend.

Exploring Innovative Approaches to Improving Indigenous People’s Health: Harmonizing Indigenous Knowledge and Western Bio-Medicine will take place on Saturday, Feb. 7th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Celebration Hall (B116 Kenneth Taylor Hall). 

“On the global scale there is a widespread movement to reduce the health disparities of Indigenous populations,” says Dawn Martin-Hill, academic director of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. “The World Health Organization and other leaders in health recognize Western medicine has improved in health care service and delivery, however, Western medicine has not made the same strides in reducing health disparities of Indigenous Peoples.” 

Leading researchers, doctors and scholars will look at the newest ways communities are developing complementary traditional medicine practices with Western health organizations and professions. 

Dr. Malcolm King, the newly appointed scientific director of the CIHR's Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health, is a guest speaker at the conference and will provide opening remarks.  Other presenters include Marcia Anderson, a physician and president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, and Paulette C. Tremblay, CEO of the National Aboriginal Health Organization.

The conference is being hosted by the Indigenous Studies Program and the Aboriginal Students Health Sciences Office at McMaster University. For a complete agenda, please visit http://www.mcmaster.ca/indigenous/events/020709.html




For more information please contact:

Dawn Martin-Hill

Academic Director, Indigenous Studies Program

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 27426


Danielle Soucy

Aboriginal Students Health Sciences Office

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 22824


Jane Christmas

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 27988


Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext 22869