Métis – Matheson Island, Métis Nation of Manitoba, MB
“Many Indigenous people suffer from chronic ill health and poor health outcomes due to a complex web of factors…If we hope to change the future for Indigenous and other marginalized people, we need to work together to get to the root causes.”
Dr. Catherine Cook (MD, MSc, CCFP, FCFP) has made it her life’s work to care for, inspire, and advocate for Indigenous peoples’ health. One of the first Métis women in Canada to train as a physician and one of the first Indigenous physicians trained in Manitoba, she is a prominent and deeply-respected Indigenous health leader in both the university and health care systems. Dr. Cook has mentored hundreds of Indigenous medical students; she has inspired numerous others in the clinical, administrative, research, and teaching realms. She has received countless honours and awards, is a member of multiple professional associations, and gives her time to many councils, committees, and boards as a highly respected advisor. Most recently, she became the inaugural Vice-President (Indigenous) at the University of Manitoba, one of the highest and most senior academic positions in medicine to ever be held by an Indigenous person. Her commitment, dedication, and passion to promote and advance Indigenous peoples’ rights and equity is a true testament to her life’s work.