A Year in Public Health: The Collision of Three Public Health Emergencies


The video is available for viewing above or from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtbDRAcuPYA
To download the powerpoint slides from the event, click here.

These materials are available for non-commercial use only. If you use of these materials for non-commercial purposes, please make sure to give proper attribution: 

Wieman, C. (2021, May 6). A Year in Public Health: The Collision of Three Public Health Emergencies – the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug poisoning crisis and Anti-Indigenous Racism. Public virtual lecturePublic virtual lecture -- SFU Psychology Indigenous Reconciliation Committee: Invited Scholar Colloquium, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtbDRAcuPYA


On May 6th, 2021, the Department of Psychology’s Indigenous Reconciliation Committee hosted a talk featuring the first female Indigenous psychiatrist in Canada, Dr. Cornelia (Nel) Wieman, MSc, MD, FRCPC titled, 'A Year in Public Health: The Collision of Three Public Health Emergencies – the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug poisoning crisis and Anti-Indigenous Racism.'

Though only two are declared public health emergencies, COVID-19 and the toxic drug poisoning (opioid) crisis, anti-Indigenous racism is now regarded as a third and underpins both emergencies. Over the past year, we have seen how Indigenous people have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic and how they are overrepresented in the toxic drug poisoning crisis. But in BC, First Nations communities and nations have relied on their Indigenous strengths and, through partnerships, have met all three public health emergencies with resistance and resilience.

This talk tells this story as we all look forward to a better future.


Dr. Cornelia (Nel) Wieman, Anishinaabe (Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Manitoba), is the Acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the First Nations Health Authority and has served as the President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC) since 2016.  Dr. Wieman’s specializations include COVID-19 Response, Vaccine Confidence, Mental Health and Wellness, Addictions, Trauma-Informed Practice, Cannabis, Communications and Wellness Initiatives.

Dr. Wieman completed her medical degree and psychiatry specialty training at McMaster University. As Canada's first female Indigenous psychiatrist, Dr. Wieman has more than 20 years' clinical experience, working with Indigenous people in both rural/reserve and urban settings. Her previous activities include co-directing an Indigenous health research program in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the National Network for Indigenous Mental Health Research, being Deputy Chair of Health Canada's Research Ethics Board, and serving on CIHR's Governing Council. She has also worked and taught in many academic settings, has chaired national advisory groups within First Nations Inuit Health Branch - Health Canada, and has served as a Director on many boards, including the Indspire Foundation, Pacific Blue Cross and the National Consortium on Indigenous Medical Education


Among the resources provided in Dr. Wieman's slide were links to reports associated with Key Findings from the In Plain Sight report on anti-Indigenous racism in the BC Health Care System:

Full report: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/ap p/uploads/sites/613/2020/1 1/In -Plain -Sight -Full - Report.pdf
Summary report: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/ap p/uploads/sites/613/2020/1 1/In -Plain -Sight -Summary - Report.pdf
Data Report: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/ap p/uploads/sites/613/2021/0 2/In -Plain -Sight -Data - Report_Dec2020.pdf1_.pdf

If you are interested in additional resources on topics around Reconciliation/Decolonization/EDI, you may also interested in visiting the SFU Psyc IRC Resources page and links. They are continually being updated: https://www.sfu.ca/psychology/indigenous-reconciliation/resources.html