We Are All Treaty People

Dr. Alexandra King named Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health

  • Published - 27/09/2017
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  • Posted By - OTC
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The first person to hold the Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health is looking to improve the health outcomes for Indigenous people in the province.

Dr. Alexandra King will begin a five-year term based in the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine on Oct. 16.

“As our nations are working towards reconciliation and renewed relationships, it becomes apparent that for us to close the gap, to achieve health and wellness for Indigenous people, we need to change the paradigm,” she said.

“This is well underway in Saskatchewan, and I’m really excited to be contributing leadership from an Indigenous perspective.”

King was introduced during a ceremony at Saskatoon’s White Buffalo Youth Lodge on Sept. 27.
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations vice-chief Bob Merasty, said he was happy to be there to celebrate another success story.

“I can honestly say, good things are coming,” he said.

The research, teaching and patient care-position was created though a 10-year partnership between Cameco, Royal University Hospital’s Care Campaign and the U of S.

King is a medical researcher, physician and teacher, who will use the position to understand the health and wellness needs of Indigenous peoples and what needs to change to close the health gap in health outcomes.

“The path forward [in health care] involves culturally relevant care,” said MLA Lisa Lambert. She said she believes this chair position is a step in the right direction.

King comes to the U of S from Simon Fraser University in B.C. where she has been teaching, as well as working as an internal medicine specialist with a focus on HIV and hepatitis C.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of her caliber join us in Saskatchewan,” said Cameco president and CEO, Tim Gitzel. Cameco made the initial $1.5 million donation for the position in 2006.

“We have a true world leader in the area.”

King is from the Nipissing First Nation in Ontario and her work has focused on wellness intervention research with Indigenous people in the areas of land-based healing, health determinants, mental health and addictions, blood-born and sexually transmitted infections, and justice health.