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Judith Bartlett

Health (2003)

This once shy Manitoba Métis is one of the first three Aboriginal doctors to graduate from medicine at the University of Manitoba, and is one of the leading Aboriginal doctors in Canada. A health care pioneer, Dr. Judith Bartlett gets the most joy out of being active. She is Associate Director, Programs and Research Associate at the Manitoba First Nation Centre for Aboriginal Health Research at the University of Manitoba; and Staff Physician at the Addictions Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. In between, Bartlett is the first Chair of the National Aboriginal Health Organization; and the first Aboriginal Chair of the United Way of Winnipeg. A healer, who first practiced medicine in remote Manitoba First Nation communities, Dr. Bartlett was later instrumental as a volunteer in the development and implementation of the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg. She expended tireless efforts in developing the holistic Aboriginal Life Promotion Framework, the basis of which is to understand the world and the self; to celebrate our oneness as human beings while respecting the ways of all peoples – individually and collectively. The framework grounds Western practices in holistic Aboriginal philosophy, fostering better health for communities she knows well. “I love seeing people’s eyes light up when they realize that their hearts already know this philosophy,” she says with infectious enthusiasm. Always looking forward, Dr. Bartlett believes today’s Aboriginal youth need to continue to chase their dreams– like she did. “If young people don’t develop themselves, they won’t become the light they could become for others,” said Dr. Bartlett, a shining light herself.