Committee Members

  • Dr. Nassrein Hussein (chair)
  • Dr. Erika Penz
  • Dr. Rabia Shahid
  • Dr. Shravan Nosib
  • Dr. Jon Dean 

EDI Committee Recommendations

August, 2021

In June 2021, the Department of Medicine EDI Committee met and discussed concrete initiatives and recommendations to make our Department a safer place for all members. The results of the EDI Needs Assessment Survey conducted in the Spring of 2021 are still pending and likely will shape future recommendations, but in the meantime, based on research and consultation with Department of Medicine members, we propose the following recommendations to the Department of Medicine. Uptake of these recommendations is voluntary but would contribute to creating a more inclusive environment for Indigenous members as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

  1. The Department of Medicine Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee recommend staff, faculty, and trainees to consider using the land acknowledgment statement in their presentations.

The University of Saskatchewan has already developed a land acknowledgment by engaging Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, faculty, and staff. The University of Saskatchewan University Council unanimously passed a motion to adopt and use an official Land Acknowledgement as below2:

"As we gather here today, we acknowledge we are on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another."

We recommend that staff, faculty, and trainees consider using this land acknowledgement in official presentations, such as Grand Rounds, research presentations, or official meetings.

CAUT, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, has published a guide on the importance of territorial acknowledgement in our academic institutions. “Acknowledging territory shows recognition of a respect for Aboriginal Peoples. It is recognition of their presence both in the past and the present. Recognition and respect are essential elements of establishing healthy, reciprocal relations. While acknowledging territory is very welcome, it is only a small part of cultivating strong relationships with the First Peoples of Canada. Acknowledging territory and First Peoples should take place within the larger context of genuine and ongoing work to forge real understanding, and to challenge the legacies of colonialism”1. This is a particularly painful time for Indigenous students and faculty with residential school mass burial sites continuously being uncovered throughout the country, and a land acknowledgement does nothing to erase the past, but it is a small step in reconciliation.

References: 

  1. https://www.caut.ca/content/guide-acknowledging-first-peoples-traditional-territory
  2. https://teaching.usask.ca/curriculum/indigenous_voices/land-acknowledgements/module.php
  1. The Department of Medicine Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee recommends staff, faculty, and trainees consider using their preferred pronouns in introductions as well as in email signatures.

Correctly using a person’s personal pronouns is a fundamental way to respect their identity and promote an environment of inclusion and safety. In everyday speech and writing, pronouns are used to refer to a person in place of their name. Common pronouns include he/him, she/her, they/them. Use of these pronouns has often also implied a certain gender; however, this association may not be accurate, as there are many other pronoun combinations in addition to these three. Resources surrounding gender diversity, and the importance of terminology and pronouns have been included below.

 Resources

  1. Org (https://www.mypronouns.org/what-and-why)
  2. Out Saskatoon: Queer Terms (https://www.outsaskatoon.ca/queer_terms)
  3. University of Saskatchewan University Library Tutor Training: Working with a Diverse Student Population (https://libguides.usask.ca/c.php?g=703264&p=5000541)
  4. University of Manitoba Rady Faculty of Sciences Personal Pronouns Resource Guide (https://umanitoba.ca/health-sciences/sites/health-sciences/files/2020-11/rfhs-personal-pronouns-resource-guide.pdf)

EDI in Medicine

May 2021
The Department of Medicine EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee hosted Dr. Sean Polreis who gave an eye-opening presentation on unconscious bias during May 5, 2021 Grand Rounds. Unconscious Bias: Improving Decision-making, Communication and Relationships was recorded and is available for viewing at your convenience. 

Stay tuned for more EDI presentations and workshops being offered throughout the year. In the meantime, for anyone interested in more reading surrounding EDI in medicine, see the below article with their online links.