Celebrating Indigenous Health Researchers: Bryden Bukich
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To acknowledge National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, this piece recognizes the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and wellbeing and affirms our commitment to ensuring that everyone around us matters. We strive to bring forth the voices that were taken, and to establish platforms for the Indigenous community within the health sciences ecosystem to be heard, seen and understood.
My name is Bryden Bukich, and I was born and raised on Treaty 1 Territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My mothers side of the family is of Metis ancestry, whereas my Fathers is Croatian. I graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Manitoba, and have since started in Fall, 2021, a Masters of Science degree in Kinesiology focusing on Indigenous Health Education in health sciences programs, also at the University of Manitoba. I have temporarily reduced my Master’s degree and thesis writing to part-time as I have transitioned to studying medicine at McGill University.
In my future career as a healthcare professional in medicine and research, I hope to have an impact on Indigenous peoples in our country, both as a physician with Indigenous patients at a micro level, as well as a macro level impact on the Indigenous population through research, education and policy development. I have also come to understand and appreciate the teaching and mentorship that I have received from professors and mentors during my University career. I hope that as a future health care professional, I can not only help the Indigenous population as described above, but also teach and mentor the next generation of students in academia. These goals have been largely shaped by my education, working and volunteering experiences at the University of Manitoba and in the community where I have been afforded the wonderful opportunity to both work alongside and be mentored by some incredible leaders in the Indigenous health and education community in Manitoba. Notably, I have had the opportunity to work as a research coordinator with the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) under the mentorship of Dr. Wanda Phillips-Beck, the Indigenous holder of the CIHR funded i-Chair in Manitoba (Q & A with Wanda Phillips-Beck, Manitoba’s first Indigenous Research Chair in Nursing – Research Manitoba). Our work has been focused on the objectives of the i-Chair, with an integral component being responding to Call to Action #24, and exploring if and how entry-level nursing programs across Canada are employing Indigenous health into their curriculums. As well, I have also been involved in knowledge translation activities surrounding Indigenous health in the Kinesiology program at the University of Manitoba, including presentations on Indigenous health education, student groups focused on curriculum and empowering Indigenous students voices, as well as land-based education. Outside of the University, I am also an assistant coach for the North American Indigenous Games 19U male basketball team. I was previously the coach of the 14U team during the pandemic and lead an online training program for youth in remote communities. The culmination of these experiences recently led to being offered one of 20 McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill University for which I am studying Medicine.
- Bryden Bukich | Boursiers McCall MacBain Scholars
- McCall MacBain Scholarships for Master’s and Professional Degrees | Boursiers McCall MacBain Scholars
As a young, Indigenous researcher and future health care professional, I am extremely grateful for my Indigenous community back home in Winnipeg who have helped shape my career goals and interests, put me in positions to succeed, listen to my ideas, and challenge me.