Combating Physician-Assisted Genocide and White Supremacy in Healthcare through Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies in Canadian Medical Schools to Prevent the Coercive and Forced Sterilization of Indigenous Women


  • Erika Campbell BScH, MA Global Health Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Karen Lawford HBSc, BHSc (Midwifery), MA, PhD Department of Gender Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada



coercive and forced sterilization, Indigenous Women, undergraduate medical education, anti-oppressive pedagogies, genocide, Coercive and forced sterilization, Indigenous women, Undergraduate medical education, Anti-oppressive pedagogies, Genocide


Coercive and forced sterilization of Indigenous Peoples are acts of genocide that are rooted in colonialism and white supremacy and require fundamental changes to undergraduate medical education. I (Erika Campbell) draw upon the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 24th Call to Action, which calls for “skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism” in medical schools. Additionally, I draw upon Call for Justice 7.6 from the Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girl, which calls upon institutions and health service providers be educated in areas including, but not limited to: the history of colonialism in the oppression and genocide of Inuit, Métis, and First Nations Peoples; anti-bias and anti-racism; local language and culture; and local health and healing practice. I analyzed the responses of all 17 undergraduate medical programs in Canada to determine how they incorporated anti-racism within their medical education to meet the Calls to Action and Justice. All undergraduate medical programs include some form of cultural learning, which I argue does not directly challenge racism and colonialism. As such, I advocate for the implementation of anti-oppressive pedagogies within curricula to facilitate the unlearning of colonial rhetoric. I further argue the implementation of anti-oppressive pedagogies within education will contribute to the eradication of the ongoing genocide of Indigenous Peoples and white supremacy within our healthcare systems.

Author Biography

Karen Lawford HBSc, BHSc (Midwifery), MA, PhD , Department of Gender Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Lawford is an Aboriginal midwife (Namegosibiing (Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty 3) and a Registered midwife (Ontario). Her research focuses on the provision of maternity care for those who live on reserve and understanding the barriers to equitable reproductive health services. Currently, she is a Co-Investigator on a Status of Women Canada research project, entitled Empowering women leaders in health: Health care, health sciences, & Indigenous health. Dr. Lawford is the lead on Indigenous health and purposefully draws attention to Indigenous women and Two Spirit leaders in health.


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How to Cite

Campbell, E., & Lawford, K. (2021). Combating Physician-Assisted Genocide and White Supremacy in Healthcare through Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies in Canadian Medical Schools to Prevent the Coercive and Forced Sterilization of Indigenous Women. INYI Journal, 11(1).