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For immediate release
February 4, 2022

Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is recognizing Dr. Barry Lavallee, Chief Executive Officer of the Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. as he receives another award in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of Indigenous health.

Dr. Barry Lavallee received the Canadian Association for Medical Education 2022 Certificate of Merit.

“On behalf of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, I am so pleased to commend and congratulate Dr. Barry Lavallee for his incredible contributions to the field of medicine. Through his work in co-developing the Indigenous Longitudinal Course for undergraduate medical learners at the Max Rady College of Medicine, Dr. Lavallee has made a long-lasting positive impact on the well-being of Indigenous peoples throughout the world,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee.

From 2010-2019, Dr. Barry Lavallee was the Director of Ongomiizwin Education at the Max Rady School of Medicine. During his tenure, he was also Lead of the Undergraduate Medical Education Indigenous Health Course at the Max Rady College of Medicine. Dr. Lavallee, along with Linda Diffey, co-developed the Indigenous Health Longitudinal Course for medical students at the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine. This 70-hour curriculum was innovative and the first of its kind in Canada.

“My office recently received a message from a doctor who has practiced medicine in South America who had studied with Dr. Barry Lavallee nearly a decade ago,” said Grand Chief Settee. “The doctor explained how profoundly Dr. Lavallee’s mentorship impacted him, shifting his perspective on health care for Indigenous people and influencing him to adopt a strength-based view of Indigenous patients.”

The letter from Dr. Lavallee’s former student reflects the goal of the curriculum, which was to develop the ability of medical students to critically analyze issues impacting peoples’ health and to help them consider different ways they can take action or be an advocate.

“Thank you Dr. Lavallee for continuing to share your knowledge, advocacy, and passion,” shared Grand Chief Settee. “We recognize and honour your ongoing contributions to addressing anti-Indigenous racism and transforming the health care system in Manitoba.”

The purpose of the Canadian Association for Medical Education Awards is to recognize excellence in medical education. The Certificate of Merit recognizes senior faculty who have made an exceptional contribution to medical education throughout their academic careers.

Dr. Barry Lavallee was named Chief Executive Officer of the two-year-old non-profit health entity Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin in October 2020. The organization works closely with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak on transforming and improving health for First Nations citizens in Northern Manitoba.



For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Phone: 204-612-1284
Email: [email protected]