Oh, hi! I didn’t see you over there. Come in, and welcome to the Indigenous Health Initiatives Program. My name is Kenton Boutillier, and I am the Administrator for the program. If you are a current student, a prospective student, or even a visitor there is lots of information to be found, and a lot of activities to get involved in!
But first a little bit about me. I am a ninth generation, white, European settler, and grew up outside a tiny rural village on Treaty 6 territory. Upon graduation I came to what was the ‘big city’ for me, Edmonton, and attended the University of Alberta. Since that time, being heavily influenced by my own minority group and my education in Anthropology, I have developed a defining interest in social awareness/action and policy. This includes subjects like equity, diversity, and conversations about power and privilege. I also get fascinated with social and inter-personal interactions, what defines us as human beings, and how we can grow and improve to support each other and the planet. I am a proud nerd, and I enjoy connecting the youth to thinking big and believing in themselves and their skills.
My position in the IHIP allows me to do this through several facets. I work with current Indigenous students in the Health Sciences programs at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. We walk through the process of Admissions, their professional program, and graduation, answering any questions, and offering support as required. We have events throughout the year that help bring us closer together and to ensure students are never feeling disconnected.
I work with Indigenous youth both in communities and at the University of Alberta recruiting and performing fun science experiments together to supplement curriculum and offer experiences that some schools are unable to provide. These sessions are geared for Kindergarten to Grade 12 and everyone has a chance to engage.
There is a lot to look at in the IHIP, so please explore the website at your leisure. If you would also like to meet in person, or have any other questions or curiosities, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to tell you more about the program and what we do here, including opportunities to get involved or to connect your communities with the science program. Or, if you are just starting your journey into health sciences, we would love to support you from the beginning.