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Canadian Federation of
Medical Students
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About the CFMS
The CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations.
Canadian Federation of Medical Students Statement in response to the death of Joyce Echaquan
October 06, 2020

Canadian Federation of Medical Students Statement in response to the death of Joyce Echaquan

The CFMS is saddened by the recent death of Joyce Echaquan and the circumstances in which it transpired. We offer our sincere condolences to her family, friends, and community. Her death highlights not only the actions of one institution, but the pervasiveness of systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in Canadian healthcare. 

Racism is a determinant of health that has long affected the quality of care of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Although recent events have spurred Canadian society to reflect on equity, diversity, and inclusivity, more must be done. As Tomorrow’s Physicians, Leading for Health Today, the CFMS calls on all healthcare, educational, and government institutions to reflect on the presence of racism and oppression in their institution and to take actionable steps to address the inequities that result. We must work together to build a healthcare system that is culturally safe, where there is equity for all.

The CFMS recognizes the pain of these events for our membership, particularly for those who identify as Indigenous. We stand with you in solidarity and are committed to improving how we connect, support, and represent you in your journey through medical school and in the broader fight against systemic racism.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity are important values that the CFMS strives to promote internally, in medical education, and in the larger healthcare community. With the recent adoption of the recommendations from our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity task force, we continue to plan their implementation both internally and in our advocacy to medical education institutions. This includes work on increasing underrepresented populations amongst medical students, medical faculties, and medical leadership. We recognize that we must first be willing to be uncomfortable with the truth to move forward in partnership with Indigenous peoples.

For further information, please contact: Vivian Tan, CFMS Vice-President of Communications, at [email protected]

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