Gilles Pinette

Gilles Pinette is the face of Aboriginal medicine across Canada. The host of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s highly regarded Aboriginal health showcase, Medicine Chest, and a syndicated medical columnist whose words reach hundreds of thousands across Canada, Dr. Pinette’s career is just beginning. Now only 30, this proud Métis practices family medicine in Winnipeg where he treats his patients using a mixture of modern-day western medicine and traditional Aboriginal teachings. He’s also an urgent-care physician at Winnipeg’s Misericordia Urgent Care Centre; a lecturer and instructor at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine; Associate Director of the University of Manitoba’s Special Premedical Studies Program, which recruits and supports Aboriginal students enrolled in health sciences; and, Dr. Pinette helped organize and will be one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Conference in 2002. If this doesn’t keep him busy enough, Dr. Pinette has also conducted and supervised several medical research projects and authored books about scholarships and bursaries for Aboriginal medical students, diabetes, suicide prevention and prenatal care. Born in Ste. Boniface, Manitoba, Dr. Pinette was drawn to medicine because he didn’t like feeling helpless. As a youth, he anguished watching his grandfather suffer a slow death from cancer. Then a close family friend died suddenly of a heart attack and one of his peers was killed by a drunk driver while they were in junior high. Out of tragedy, a young man’s dream was born. Because he fought and made this dream come true, his patients, Aboriginal people and all Canadians now benefit.