November 4th, 2020 – Indigenous Public Health Training at the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health

Join a panel of students and graduates of the Indigenous Public Health Training Institutes to explore Canada’s only Indigenous Public Health professional development program at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.  The Indigenous Public Health Training Institutes equip Indigenous community members and scholars to address public health issues in Indigenous communities.  The Certificate consists of 8 core courses that bring a variety of diverse Indigenous guest lecturers to share their perspectives on current public health issues in their communities.  The Winter Institute 2021 will see the first elective course offered in an online format, “Pandemics in Indigenous Communities: Before, During and After Covid-19.”

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This session’s video is now available for viewing.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest in our events.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.

Our events aim to embody a safe space for everyone of all different backgrounds to have their opinions and voices equally heard.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest in our events.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.

Our events aim to embody a safe space for everyone of all different backgrounds to have their opinions and voices equally heard.

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About the Presenters:

Elder Lou Demerais (Elder in Residence, IPH Training Institutes, UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health) 

Mr. Demerais was a founding member of Vancouver Native Health Society, serving on its inaugural board established in 1990, and as Executive Director from 1991 until his retirement in 2020.  He was Chair of the Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council’s health table and served as a member of the UBC President’s advisory committee on Aboriginal Affairs.


Rhonda Carriere

Rhonda is the Program Manager for the Indigenous Public Health Certificate program at the CEIH.  She was raised in Ladner, BC, and is Métis with ancestral ties to the Red River.  For over 25 years, Rhonda has worked in the areas of education and advocacy on Indigenous issues.  Her journey into this work began with studies in post-colonial literature while earning a Master of Arts degree.  Rhonda went on to work for organizations with innovative approaches to graduate level education for Indigenous peoples.  Most recently she coordinated community-based, peer-lead health workshops for people living with chronic health conditions.  Rhonda enjoys bringing together her passions for health, community-based education, social justice, and reconciliation to the Indigenous Public Health Training Institutes.


Seamus Damstrom

Howdy, my name is Seamus Damstrom. I am Oneida as my maternal grandmother is from the Turtle Clan of the Oneida Nation of the Thames. The Oneida Nation of Thames is an Onyota’a:ka First Nations band government located in southwestern Ontario. I was born in a small town in the East Kootenay area (Southeast BC) called Cranbrook. Shortly after I was born my family and I moved up to Terrace BC where they spent nearly 18 years. Later on in life, I decided to attend the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook where I graduated with a certificate in arts and science. Eventually, I made it to Vancouver where I am currently in my 4th year of the Dietetics Major program at UBC. I believe that food can act as a vehicle for storytelling as it can show the details of who we are, where we are and how we live. Due to the personal nature of food, I am drawn towards dietetics because a dietitian plays a fundamental role in empowering clients, patients and communities to understand, respect and embrace food. I have seen first-hand how food insecurity can affect a community, thus I hope to work in rural communities, specifically with indigenous populations to advocate for indigenous food sovereignty and increased incorporation of traditional knowledge ways of knowing within the Canadian food system and the field of Dietetics


Carolyn Belanger

Carolyn is a registered nurse from Treaty 6 with ancestral ties to Lac Ste. Anne Métis community in west central Alberta. She started her career in a busy, urban emergency department before venturing into the role of a Community Health Nurse in remote First Nations communities across western Canada. Having observed health disparities among those she served, Carolyn went back to school to gain a Certificate in Indigenous Public Health from The Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health at UBC, to be able to advocate for self-determination in indigenous healthcare. Carolyn empowers clients to engage in holistic wellness practices to regain and maintain the exceptional measures of health experienced by indigenous people prior to the imposition of colonial healthcare systems. She continues to pursue her own personal and professional development informed by Métis values, incorporating traditional worldviews into her healing practices. Her life’s passion is to support clients on their wellness journey so they may ultimately transcend to their greatest potential.


Dylan Rose

Dylan is from Saskatchewan where he is a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation. He currently works as an Advisor for the First Nations Health Council who are a provincial-level political and advocacy body that is representative of and accountable to BC First nations. Their mandate looks at improving health outcomes for Indigenous people through partnerships with health authorities, various levels of government and by providing political leadership in health planning.

Dylan spent the past five years in Vancouver working with the First Nations Health Authority in a variety of roles. Prior to that work he managed urban Indigenous youth projects throughout the Province of Saskatchewan and has spent time working on economic development projects with the Canadian Urban Institute in developing communities overseas.

His undergraduate coursework focused on Urban Planning and Human Geography at the University of Saskatchewan and he recently completed the Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Public Health at the University of British Columbia.


Linda Jones

Linda was raised in Alert Bay, just off the northern tip of Vancouver Island and is a registered member of the ‘Namgis First Nation. She currently resides in Parksville on Vancouver Island with her husband and two children and is currently pursuing her Indigenous Doula Training through Doula Canada while homeschooling her twin eight-year-olds.

Linda has dreamt of creating positive change since she was a child and has worked her entire life pursuing avenues that will help her reach her goals. She holds a Diploma in Exercise and Wellness from Camosun College, A Certificate in Personal Training from the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from UBC and most recently a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Public Health also from UBC. All of these combined will help her provide optimal perinatal support for Indigenous mothers.



  • Learn more, apply for the Indigenous Public Health Training Program on the CEIH Website

Resources from session:

  • Nadine Caron’s Interview on the National
  • Covid-19 & Infectious Diseases summer course at John Hopkins 
  • Learn more about the DUDE’S Club here

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