“For a long time we haven’t made the connection between historical issues like assimilation and residential schools and contemporary Aboriginal health issues.”
“I’ve always had an interest in advocacy. I studied human rights and the intersection of health care and structural issues that affect access: oppression, racism, sexism, and poverty. For a long time we haven’t made the connection between historical issues like assimilation and residential schools and contemporary Aboriginal health issues.
My parents came to Canada from Delhi. My grandfather and great grandfather participated in the Indian independence movement, so I’ve always had a genuine interest in post-colonialism. Working on Cultural Safety is all about responding to colonialism.
A lot of advocacy is bringing issues from the margins of society to the centre so we can have meaningful dialogue and unified action. Though I’m not Indigenous, I share the same core values and beliefs about working together to achieve equitable health outcomes.
I try to merge my professional and personal identity. I’m an avid runner, I paint, write and travel – last year I ran on the Great Wall of China, trekked the Himalayas and am currently planning to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Patience, discipline, humility, those are all aspects I try to bring into my work.”
– Vishal Jain, Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Initiatives