The duties of the Western Regional Director are as follows:
Represents the Western region and chair all regional meetings of their constituents.
Act as a liaison between the association and other regional/provincial organizations.
Support various portfolios of the Leadership Circle as needed.
Candidate: Amy Beevor-Potts
Hi! My name is Amy Beevor-Potts and I am Coast Salish from the Sts'ailes nation on my mother's side and a mixed white settler on my father's side. I'm currently a third year medical student at the University of British Columbia and was formerly a Health Sciences student at the University of Calgary. Within medicine, I'm interested in Urology, Pediatrics and advocating for Indigenous people in the healthcare system. Outside of medicine, I'm an avid hiker, baker, boulderer, and kombucha maker!
As an undergrad, I served as an elected student representative on behalf of the Cummings School of Medicine on our school's student's union; in this role, I advocated on behalf of my faculty's students (including MD students) based on their needs. I also feel that I am uniquely experienced for this role as I have been a student working with faculty at different medical schools within the western region. I was also involved in helping develop IMSAC.
In this role, I would work to help unite students from across the western region and to help advocate for students within each school. I would also aim to establish communication with students at all school and aim to serve as a strong advocate for them. Additionally, I would like to help set up some career mentorships for Indigenous students in specialties they're interested in. I would also like to help increase cultural supports for students in the west.
Candidate: Jayelle Friesen-Enns
Tansi, Aniin, Boozhoo, Bonjour, and Hello! My name is Jayelle Friesen-Enns (She/They) and I am a Two-Spirit person from Manitoba. I was born in Winnipeg and adopted into a family from Rosenort, Manitoba where I grew up. As an adopted person, reconnecting with my Indigenous heritage and culture has been a long journey and it is something that I continue to work actively towards in my daily life and something that I would bring with me to IMSAC.
Prior to medical school, I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Genetics (Honours) and began a Master’s in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases which, I am currently completing alongside medical school at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg which sits on treaty 1 territory, the homeland of the Cree, Oji-Cree, Anishinaabe, and the homeland of the Métis nation.
Something that I am passionate about is Indigenous health and representation. I have demonstrated this through activism in my medical school. During the last two years of medical school, I have created a new Indigenous representative position on student council, passed legislation to make it a requirement for all medsoc members to take Indigenous cultural safety training, and worked with faculty to make the Indigenous medical admissions process more equitable. This passion is what led me to undertake the formation of IMSAC and it is something that I plan to continue in my future career as a physician.
Outside of medical school I enjoy cycling, beading, and spending time with my cats, Dash and Artemis.
I have extensive experience in student politics and governance. My prior experience includes 2 years as a Class President in medical school, 1 year as the Vice President of my graduate department, and numerous years as an executive on various curricular committees.
An experience that I think would be particularly beneficial as a future Regional Director Western for IMSAC is my role as a Class President for the last two years. This role has required me to oversee various portfolios and communicate with other medical school leaders to pursue innovation and to constantly grow as a leader. As a Regional Director, I would look forward to using my communication skills to listen to the needs of Indigenous students from my region and represent their ideas at meetings.
The most relevant experience that would contribute to my success in the role of a Regional Director would be my experiences forming IMSAC; as I am both an official co-founder and was the person to initiate connections with other Indigenous medical students when IMSAC was merely an idea. I have put in countless hours planning meetings, making connections, and designing the website for IMSAC. As well, I have constantly advocated for IMSAC to remain as decolonized as possible and I have made sure to connect with Elders and Knowledge Keepers for wisdom and guidance during this process. I believe that the drive and passion that I have demonstrated through the formation of IMSAC will help me to succeed as a Regional Director.
My goals as Regional Director Western include:
• Reaching out to under-represented medical schools in the Western region to ensure that their voices and needs are heard.
• Represent not my own ideas, but the ideas of my constituents at all IMSAC meetings and events.
• Connect with students, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers from the areas of each medical school in the Western region to make sure students have cultural support as needed.
I believe that my experiences would help me to achieve these goals as your Regional Director Western.
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!