The duties of the co-chairs will be as follows:
Represent and speak on behalf of the IMSAC.
Call meetings, chair, and plan the agenda for council meetings.
Oversee all IMSAC events and committees.
Act as a support to other council roles as needed.
Has co-signing authority on all financial transactions with the Director of Finance.
Responsible for overseeing the association bylaws and governance.
Coordinate initiatives across the country.
Candidate: Joclyn Armit
My name is Joclyn Armit and I am a third year Métis student attending the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. I have a red/yellow lab named Mia-Lynne who goes hunting with my husband, both of whom are the reasons I have made it to my third year in medical school! I love to go fishing, it is my absolute favourite activity, but I also enjoy camping, hunting, figure skating and doing anything at all with my dog. I will be doing my clerkship in the rural northern Ontario town of Dryden. I have lived in rural northwestern Ontario for my whole life and have witnessed firsthand the hardships that are faced by Indigenous people including myself. I have been mistreated and refused rental properties due to the fact that I was being funded by Métis Nation of Ontario, I have had racist comments said to me by preceptors who did not even realize I was Indignous and so much more. I don’t want to focus on the negative though, I am proud to say I am an Indigenous woman in the healthcare field and I am so excited to be a member of IMSAC. What a long way we have come as Indigenous people and it’s amazing that we are going to be connecting with each other from all other Canada to support one another on our journeys through medical school.
To be honest, my past experience is not robust but prior to medical school I worked as a First Nations, Métis, and Inuit graduation coach at Dryden High School. For this job, I advocated for Indigenous high school students who were struggling through school for various reasons that may not have been fully understood by their teachers. I connected them to various resources that were required to help carry them through to graduation. This included anything from tutoring services, dentist appointments, help with grocery shopping, to counselling and everything in between. One of the biggest challenges I found Indigenous students encountered was lack of opportunity compared to the rest of the general public and the lack of confidence that they could make it somewhere after high school without any funding. Students really required that motivation and connection piece in order to succeed. Something I found really helped students was connecting them with the correct resources for funding their post-secondary education as this is something a lot of us struggle with. I found even personally, knowing you will not be the only Indigenous student in a situation is extremely comforting and it’s important to form those connections with one another. I have not been involved in many things throughout medical school but I have never found something I was very passionate about. Connecting Indigenous medical students from all over Canada and forming a network full of encouragement and comfort is the thing I have been waiting to be involved in.
My goal as the co-chair on the east would be to ensure that each of the members of the leadership circle have somewhere to turn when they need help. I want to make sure the leadership circle is working well as this will ensure maximum support is being given to each of the members of the IMSAC. I want to help find the resources Indigenous students need in order to be successful. This can be anywhere from helping to relieve financial stress by connecting them with bursary programs or with help filling out to talking to mentors to ask any unanswered questions. Every student is unique and I want to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met through IMSAC. While it may be difficult to compare and contrast the needs of students from across the country I think there is no better way to help Indigenous students than to connect them. I want to make sure that IMSAC is functioning as best as possible and is succeeding at working towards their vision of creating a supportive network. One of the main goals I would like to achieve is increasing Indigenous representation in the medical world and especially students as the new generation of upcoming physicians. I would like to find ways that IMSAC can be involved in making decisions on a broader scale. I want this network to not only be a way to stay connected but to also be a way Indigenous voices can be heard louder than ever.