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August 6, 2020
Developing an Inuit health module for family medicine courses will be one of the priorities of the new Associate Professor of Inuit and Northern Health Promotion at Canada’s McGill University in Montreal.
“We’re going to look at Inuit health as conceived by Inuit,” said Richard Budgell in a telephone interview. “What were Inuit definitions of health before contact? How did Inuit heal themselves when they encountered health difficulties? How has contact with qablunaat (non-Inuit) affected Inuit healing?
Budgell comes to the McGill post at the Department of Family Medicine after over 30 years working in the Canadian government. Almost 15 of those years he spent working in health-focused areas including the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities, an early childhood development program for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families that was established in 1995.
Budgell says the new module will be directed to researchers as well as future doctors and nurses. He says the more health care practitioners understand Inuit perspectives and ways of knowing, the better health care they’ll be able to deliver.