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: No Nominations
Candidate: Jesse lafontaine
Taanishi, Jesse Lafontaine dishinihkaashoon. Hello, my name is Jesse Lafontaine (he/him). I am a proud Métis man in my second year of medical school at the University of Alberta. I was born and raised in Kelowna, British Columbia on traditional Syilx/Okanagan territory and the unceded land of the Okanagan Nation. I have previously completed a Bachelor of Science Honours degree majoring in chemistry at the University of British Columbia before starting medical school. I am particularly passionate about Indigenous health and have additional interests in policy, law, and leadership in medicine. I currently live year-round in Edmonton, Alberta on Treaty 6 territory, the territory of the Papaschase, and the homeland of the Métis Nation, where I enjoy spending time in the magnificent River Valley. Outside of school I enjoy biking, hiking, exploring new places, and reviewing local ice cream shops. In the future I hope to pursue a medical career combining my interest in Indigenous health with my skills in leadership and policy development.
I have been involved in a variety of leadership and volunteer activities in both my university and Indigenous communities that have well prepared me for a role on the IMSAC Leadership Circle.
As the current President of the University of Alberta Medical Students’ Association (MSA) I represent over 650 medical students while overseeing the work of 8 executive members, 42 councillors, and 10 officers as we coordinate all matters pertaining to the representation, educational, and social activities of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry student body locally, provincially, and nationally.
In my role as Vice President of Advocacy and External Relations with the University of Alberta Indigenous Medical and Dental Students' Association (IMDSA) I work to advocate for the distinct needs of current and prospective Indigenous students through mentorship, admission interview support and the promotion of Indigenous healthcare careers.
I am an active member with the Métis Nation of British Columbia including serving as a member of the provincial wide British Columbia Métis Youth Mental Health and Wellness Initiative where I supported the development of Métis specific projects and resources to promote wellness, reduce stigma, and empower mental health through an Indigenous specific lens.
Additionally, I have served on numerous committees and elected governance bodies including policy review, medical school accreditation, medical school curriculum, student representative, academic governance, leadership selection, and student discipline committees. These experiences have been particularly valuable in allowing me to embrace my strengths, gain experience with governance and leadership, and build connections with influential leaders.
As the first national organization of its kind, IMSAC has great potential to advocate for and support Indigenous medical students across the country. I am most excited for the opportunity to connect and build a community of Indigenous medical students because I know although we are located at different medical schools, we share many of the same experiences and share a commitment to improving the health of all Indigenous people.
I believe I have the skills and strengths necessary to support the IMSAC Leadership Circle as we work towards increasing Indigenous representation in the healthcare field, promoting cultural safety and humility in the delivery of health services to Indigenous peoples, and closing the gaps in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Some of main priorities would be to empower Indigenous student voices and promote Indigenous excellence in medicine.
Exciting times are ahead for IMSAC including planning an annual gathering and opportunities to collaborate with organizations like IPAC on initiatives including their mentorship program. As we continue to build IMSAC I want to make sure we remain responsive to the desires of Indigenous medical students and elders to ensure we move forward in a good way!
I know medical school is a team sport and I truly believe that through IMSAC we can create a community of support to ensure current Indigenous medical students and the generations of Indigenous medical students that come after will become the doctors of tomorrow! I am excited for what we can do together!