The Division of Community Engagement

Indigenous Health Initiatives

The Indigenous Health Initiatives Program was founded in 1988 by the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta to encourage a greater number of First Nations, Inuit and Métis students gain access to, and graduate from, all faculty of medicine and dentistry programs. Since the program’s inception, the Indigenous Health Initiatives Program (IHIP) has been a leader in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students, representing Abenaki, Blackfoot, Cree, Dene, Delaware, Inuit, Iroquois, Metis, Mi'kmaq, Mohawk, the Ojibwe communities in Health Sciences in Canada.


The mandate of the Indigenous Health Initiatives Program (IHIP) is to support the growth in the number of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people in medicine and dentistry programs in order to address the gap in the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in health professions in Alberta and across Canada. This is accomplished through our collaborative and holistic program that provides wrap-around supports to qualified Indigenous applicants as they enter into, and graduate successfully from, the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

This mandate is further supported by the Faculty’s special status admissions in the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Dental Hygiene (DH), and Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) programs. The faculty has a national proactive recruitment policy.