Meet Vishal Jain, Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Initiatives
Written by Elaine O'Connor, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

Meet Aboriginal Health Initiatives Coordinator Vishal Jain, who says bringing Aboriginal voices to the fore in health care conversations fulfills his passion for advocacy.

Meet Vishal Jain, Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Initiatives

“I’ve always had an interest in advocacy. I studied human rights and the intersection of health care and structural issues that affect access: oppression, racism, sexism and poverty. For a long time we haven’t made the connection between historical issues like assimilation and residential schools and contemporary Aboriginal health issues.

My parents came to Canada from Delhi. My grandfather and great grandfather joined the Indian independence movement, so I have a real interest in post colonialism. Working on Cultural Safety is all about responding to post colonialism.

I’m not First Nations so a large part of my job is making sure those voices are heard, then I navigate the Fraser Health system depending on their priorities. A lot of advocacy is bringing things from the margins of society to the centre so we can have a dialogue and act.

I try to merge my professional and personal identity. I’m a distance runner, I paint, write and travel – I’ve run on the Great Wall of China, trekked the Himalayas and am planning to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Patience, discipline, humility, those are all aspects I bring into my work.”

 – Vishal Jain, Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Initiatives

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