Healthy and vibrant Indigenous nations, communities, families and individuals – supported by Indigenous physicians and others who are contributing to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of our people and having a positive impact on the social determinants of Indigenous health.
As Indigenous physicians and students who are diversely rooted in our traditional teachings and our respective communities, IPAC members embrace and commit to collaboratively use our skills, abilities and experiences to advance the health of our nations, communities, families and individuals. IPAC provides knowledge for communities, national Indigenous organizations and health care providers; advocates for Indigenous peoples’ health; and acts as a support mechanism for Indigenous physicians and students.
Our Beliefs & Values
IPAC’s beliefs and values originate from communities, our ancestors and the traditional teachings found within our diverse Indigenous cultures. We believe that Indigenous peoples deserve the best health possible. We honour the wholistic view of health (body, mind, spirit and heart) including traditional knowledge and practices. We believe that Indigenous physicians are honoured with positions of trust in the communities and commitment to our responsibilities are reflected in our work.
We value respectful and ethical interactions among all individuals, organizations and groups with whom we work. We hold the following values as most important as they originate from traditional teachings.
- Love – of people, communities and Indigenous ways of being
- Respect – for knowledge, wisdom, communities and each other
- Courage – to stand up for our ways of being and the application and integration of Indigeneity in all things we do as an organization
- Honesty – among the membership and staff and with the organizations and individuals with whom we work
- Wisdom – use of traditional teachings to approach our way of being and with our work
- Humility – to know our limitations and to seek guidance when necessary
- Truth – to always speak the truth as an organization and to speak the truth to each other
Our Organizational Mandate
IPAC derives its authority from the teachings of our ancestors, from the legitimacy of the history of our experiences, and from our communities and peoples. As an organization of contemporary medicine people, IPAC recognizes the health inequities of Indigenous people and communities who look to us for leadership and knowledge. We believe it is our responsibility and right to come together to help improve other Indigenous peoples’ physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and to impact the determinants of Indigenous health.
Our Operating Principles
The following principles guide us; they become the lenses through which all IPAC activities are considered and implemented:
- Indigeneity is maintained and respected throughout all IPAC activities
- IPAC is well funded to conduct its business successfully
- IPAC’s staff, board members, and members work together in a healthy team environment of wholistic wellness
- IPAC members are actively engaged in IPAC activities
- IPAC conducts all activities within its mandate and within its capacity to ensure focus and momentum
Definition of Indigenous
The Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC) uses the term “Indigenous” to refer to “communities, peoples and nations which, having historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from those societies.” Although we presently form non-dominant sectors of society, we are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future Indigenous generations our ancestral territories and ethnic identity as the basis of our continued existence as peoples — in accordance with our own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system.