Webinar: Approaches to Harmonizing Indigenous Medicine and Western Medicine in Children with Cancer
Mark L. Greenberg, OC, MB, ChB, FRCPC
Senior Clinical Lead, Strategic Initiatives
Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO)
Professor Emeritus Pediatrics and Surgery
Emeritus Chair in Childhood Cancer Control
University of Toronto
Senior Oncologist Emeritus, Hospital for Sick Children
Michael Anderson MD, MSc, FRCSC
Surgical Oncology | Palliative Care Medicine
Strategic Lead Indigenous Health | University Health Network
Senior Research Associate | Waakebiness Institute for Indigenous Health | Dalla Lana School of Public Health | University of Toronto
Lecturer | Department of Surgery | University of Toronto
Dr. Michael Anderson is part of the urban Indigenous community in Tkaronto/Toronto. He is Mohawk (Bear Clan) and mixed European with family roots in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. He practices surgical oncology and palliative care medicine and is the Strategic Lead for Indigenous Health at the University Health Network. He previously served as an Indigenous Cancer Lead and a Surgical Oncology Lead at Cancer Care Ontario. At the Waakebiness Institute for Indigenous Health in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (U of T), he is a PhD candidate and senior researcher with interests in Indigenous epistemologies, Indigenous approaches to implementation science, ethical Indigenous community-healthcare research partnerships, and Indigenous conceptualizations of death and dying.
Parent and Advocate
Wendy Lariviere is an Anishinabekwe from Nipissing First Nation where she resides with her husband and middle son. She holds a degree in Social Services, and a diploma in Indigenous Community Work. Wendy is the natural mother of two boys, a chosen mother of two young men, a young woman, and a grandmother to five beautiful humans. The journey she walked with her youngest son, Makenzy, has gifted her with strong advocacy skills for her family and other families on the journey of pediatric oncology with a focus on Indigenous inclusion.
Makenzy’s Nishnabe name was Zoongabwe, which translates to Standing Strong. Makenzy lived by his name and was 13 years old when he started his spirit journey on March 19th, 2022, after a fourth relapse with a second bone marrow transplant. During the 12-year journey with leukemia, they shared their story to stay connected with family and ended up bringing hope and strength to so many others struggling with life.
Wendy continues to advocate for Indigenous families on the oncology journey in honour of Makenzy. She shares, “Makenzy always fought for change to help others. He believed that they needed to speak up so other families wouldn’t have to fight so hard”.
Traditional Medicine Knowledge Holder
Joseph Pitawanakwat is Ojibway from Wiikwemkoong, married with one daughter. The Founder & Director of Creators Garden, an Indigenous outdoor, and now online, education based business, focused on plant identification, beyond-sustainable harvesting, and teaching every one of their linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal significance through experiences. His lectures and intensive programming is easily adaptable to make appropriate and successfully delivered to a variety of organizations. Including over 150 First Nations communities and Hundreds of institutions throughout Anishinaabe territory and beyond. He has learned from hundreds of traditional knowledge holders and uniquely blends this knowledge with and reinforces it with and array of western sciences.
Vicky Wilton, RN, BPHE
POGO Interlink Nurse
Health Sciences North
Vicky Wilton has been a registered nurse for more than 27 years. She has worked in community as a homecare nurse, for CNIB and in the hospital setting in adult oncology, palliative care as well as general pediatrics and NICU. She also has an Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Physical and Health Education.
Her current role is a Pediatric Interlink Nurse, which is a unique role in the pediatric oncology system of care. This is a role that supports children and their families that have a child with cancer. She works out of the POGO Satellite Clinic at Health Sciences in Sudbury and supports families throughout Northern Ontario. The Interlink nurse assists families to navigate the entire trajectory from diagnosis, treatment, symptom management, school support, home support, palliative care, survivorship and end of life care.
Vicky has gained experience and knowledge about the spectrum of Indigenous practices, over many years of working with families in the north. She collaborates with reserve staff and elders, schools, community resources and hospital services and is continually learning new information and ways to support Indigenous families every day.