mai 23, 2024

The path towards Truth and Reconciliation is a challenging one, but one which Dr. Clara Bohm has not shied away from. For her excellent work, rooted in respectful partnerships with Indigenous peoples and efforts to advance Indigenous health and leadership, she has been awarded the 2024 Howard Vincent Award for Truth and Reconciliation.

The award honours the memory of Howard Vincent of Lake Babine First Nation, who was a strong advocate for Indigenous peoples and spoke with exceptional candor – well known for speaking openly and honestly to a room of doctors about white privilege and motivating people to reflect critically on their work and personal biases.

When he passed in 2020, Can-SOLVE CKD created an award in his name to honour a non-Indigenous individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to furthering Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples within network.

Clara Bohm is a first-generation settler from eastern Europe, who works as a nephrologist in Manitoba, where almost half of the people with kidney disease she treats are First Nations, Inuit or Métis.

“It’s really difficult to reconcile the fact that the country that gave my family and I such opportunity and hope did not provide that to those who were the original people of this land,” explains Bohm. “Early on in my involvement in the Can-SOLVE CKD Network, it became quite evident to me that in order to move forward we have to walk forward together, and everyone has to keep their hearts open and rebuild trust.”

She says her work with Can-SOLVE CKD has been a huge part of her learning journey, as well as her role as a physician, where she works closely with patients and aims to build relationships and trust to foster healthy therapeutic relationships. Notably, she has hired an Indigenous research coordinator, Priscila Ferreira Da Silva, as part of the Triple I/Mind the Gap research team. Like Howard, she sees the importance of acknowledging that everyone has intrinsic biases and must take steps to recognize and check those biases.

Clara says she was surprised to learn she was the winner of the Howard Vincent award, which was announced at the 2024 Can-SOLVE CKD Annual Meeting in Montreal. “Receiving this award is really humbling and I hope that I do the award justice,” she says.

Clara says a lot of Can-SOLVE CKD’s progress towards Truth and Reconciliation can be attributed to leadership and the Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council (IPERC). “I think we have really moved forward positively, although the work may never be done,” she says. “But I hope my future grandchildren are going to live in a different setting with less disparity and inequality.”

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