Dr. Nel Wieman, President
Canada’s first female Indigenous psychiatrist (Anishnawbe – Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Manitoba). In January 2018, Nel joined the First Nations Health Authority in BC as a Senior Medical Officer, Mental Health & Wellness, in the FNHA’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer. From 2013-2018, she was a staff psychiatrist at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, in CAMH’s Aboriginal Services Unit, Tele-psychiatry Service (Northern Psychiatric Outreach Program), Crisis Clinic and General Assessment Clinic. Since 2016, Nel has also served as the Faculty Advisor to the Indigenous Students’ Health Sciences Office at McMaster University. Prior to this, Nel was a member of the Clinical Support Team at YWCA Toronto’s Elm Centre providing psychiatric services to over 100 women living with serious mental illness and addictions, and was a special consultant to the Chief Public Health Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada. From 2004-2011, she was the Co-Director of the Indigenous Health Research Development Program and an Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Nel began her career by providing psychiatric services at the community mental health clinic on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory (1997-2005) after completing her medical degree (1993) and while completing her psychiatry specialty training (1998) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In February 2013, Nel was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Evan Adams, Vice President
A citizen of Tla’amin (Sliammon) First Nation in Powell River, BC, and Chief Medical Officer at the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the first health authority of its kind in Canada. In this role, Evan acts as the “face” of the FNHA’s public health function and serves as its representative / keynote speaker at health conferences and community events. He also develops and/or strengthens partnerships with First Nations health governance partners, BC First Nations, provincial and federal government health agencies, and other FNHA departments, to establish relationships and action plans. Before joining the FNHA, Evan served as Deputy Provincial Health Officer (BC), where he provided direction on First Nations health issues to the Ministry of Health, reported to First Nations citizens on health issues affecting the general population, and set out a path for the improvement of First Nations health and wellness. Evan completed an MD at the University of Calgary, an Aboriginal Family Practice residency at St Paul’s Hospital/UBC (as Chief Resident), and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Mandy Buss, Physician Director
Aaniin Boozhoo, Kaaniimit Waawaate Ikwe nindizhinikaaz mukwa doodem. My English name is Mandy Buss, I am Metis from Manitoba. I grew up in a small rural community forty-five minutes northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I did both my Bachelor of Science and Medical degree at the University of Manitoba. I did my Residency in the Northern Remote Family Medicine program, which is also through the University of Manitoba. I spent the first 6 years of my practice going half time to northern First Nation communities. I currently practice at the Northern Connections Medical Center (NCMC). NCMC is the home base for the Northern Remote Family Medicine Program where we train residence to work in the Northern/remote communities, while servicing northern transient patients, inner city and marginalized community members of Winnipeg. I also work at the University of Manitoba as an Assistant professor. I am the Indigenous Health Lead for the Faculty of Family Medicine, developing and delivering Indigenous Health curriculum to Family Medicine Residents and Faculty and the Director of Indigenous Health Longitudinal Curriculum for the Undergrad Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Sarah Funnel, Treasurer
Dr. Sarah Minwanimad Funnell is a First Nations Family Physician and Public Health Specialist. Sarah is an Associate Medical Officer of Health at Ottawa Public Health and Director of Indigenous Health within the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. Previously Sarah offered Primary Care services for refugees, immigrants, homeless and Indigenous people. Since March 2020, Sarah has directed her attention towards supporting the COVID-19 response and advancing Indigenous Health Medical Education.
After completing medical school at the University of Ottawa (U of O), Dr. Funnell pursued her dual interests in family medicine and epidemiology through the five-year Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program at U of O. She received her Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) in 2015.
Her background is Algonquin and Tuscarora and grew up among the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation. Sarah is on the Board of Directors of both the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada and the Board of Directors of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Sarah is co-Chair of the Indigenous Health Committee at the CFPC and also sits on the Indigenous Health Advisory Committee at the Royal College. She is currently working with both colleges to improve Indigenous Health Curriculum in all residency programs. She is lives in Ottawa with her husband and 3 daughters. In her spare time she speaks to her plants.
Dr. Michael Dumont, Physician Director
Bozhoo, my name is Michael Dumont. I am Anishinaabe (Marten Clan), a member of Shawanaga First Nation and I also carry mixed European ancestry. I am honoured to live as a guest on the unceded land of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, where I raise my 2yo daughter Evie.
As a family physician, I am privileged to work both on and off reserve in community primary care. I helped to establish Lu'ma Medical Centre in 2016, where I currently serve as Medical Director. We incorporate traditional Indigenous and Western medical approaches in our two-eyed seeing model of care, with Elders and Traditional Healers working alongside Indigenous physicians, nurses, counselors and social navigators. We are a core learning site for the Indigenous Family Medicine Residency program at UBC, where I also do some teaching with the undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs. I am proud to partner with Musqueam First Nation to deliver primary care on-reserve, and I currently serve as spokesperson for the First Nations and Aboriginal Primary Care Network (a partnership of 8 Indigenous owned/operated clinics across Metro Vancouver).
A member of IPAC since 2016, I currently sit on the Champions Committee. This work has been fun and rewarding - we seek to celebrate our colleagues (students, residents, early career and established physicians) through award nominations and other honours. I believe we benefit collectively by spotlighting the amazing work of Indigenous physician leaders and ultimately, this elevates us to greater spheres of influence where we can effectively advocate for better care for Indigenous people. I am motivated to put on an incredible PRIDoC for our global Indigenous physician family next summer in Vancouver. I am on the fundraising committee for PRIDoC and am planning a cultural event and circle on Indigenizing primary care.
Dr. Alexa Lesperance, Resident Director
Boozhoo! Massibkwe ndzhinikaaz, makwa ndoodem, Naotkamegwanning ndoonji. Greetings my name is Alexa Lesperance I'm a bear clan kwe originating from Whitefish Bay First Nation in Treaty #3 Northwestern Ontario and Rocky Bay First Nation located in the Robinson-Superior Treaty area. I'm a PGY1 Family Medicine Resident as part of the UBC- Indigenous-Vancouver program and my goal after residency is to return to work within the communities I am from and provide culturally safe care for Indigenous people.
I'm excited to be a new member on the IPAC Board. My hope as resident representative is to help ensure that as Indigenous residents we have all the tools we need to serve our communities; and feel comfortable in our advocacy. Apart of being able to do this is ensuring that we feel safe in our residency programs and that we are connected to mentors who can help guide us as new MD’s. Chi-miigwech!
Josha Rafael, Student Director
ahâw niôtôtemetik kîatamiskatinawaw ka kîyaw sisonikicikamik ekwa Vancouver ôhcinîya okimâwo pîsim nîtîkowin. Hello everyone! My name is Josha, and I am a nehiyaw iskwew (cree woman) from Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Vancouver, BC (traditional territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ Nations). I completed a Bachelor of Arts & Science degree before beginning my medical education at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. I am currently in my second year as a medical student (MD Candidate, 2023). I am currently a member of the IPAC Champions Committee, which seeks to uplift and promote our Indigenous colleagues through the celebration of their work. We nominate individuals for various awards, in the hopes of impacting system-level change. I strongly believe in the importance of this initiative, and in collaboration with the rest of the team, I have devoted my time to ensuring that the hard work of our community is recognized and honoured. At present, I am also a member of the Student Track PRIDoC 2022 Committee, and our focus will be ensuring that the student community is adequately represented at this conference and their voices are heard throughout the planning process.
To contact a Board member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org