Dr. Alexandra King is coming to the university from Nipissing First Nation in Ontario for a five-year term.
King, who is a teacher, mentor and internal medicine specialist, said she wants to work with Indigenous communities to understand their health and wellness needs.
It takes time for that to happen and it takes even longer for perhaps the effects for that to be felt,” King said.
“Definitely five years is a drop in the bucket, and I recognize that. But what I can be doing is starting and keeping these wheels in motion.”
King said she is excited to be contributing leadership in the province from an Indigenous perspective and will be an advocate for improvements and funding in health care.
She will also develop more education to ensure cultural appropriate care is delivered in the province.
“As our nations are working towards reconciliation and renewed relationships, it becomes apparent that for us to close the gap, to achieve health and wellness for Indigenous people, we need to change the paradigm,” King said.
Cameco made a forward-looking donation of $1.5 million in 2006 that officials said was instrumental in creating the chair.
“Royal University Hospital Foundation commends Cameco for its leadership, innovative thinking and forward-looking support of the chair in Indigenous health,” Dr. Paul Babyn, the volunteer chair of the Royal University Hospital Foundation, said in a release.
“Because of Cameco’s generosity, Royal University Hospital can continue to move forward in the delivery of its founders’ vision – that the people of Saskatchewan have the best health care possible, a right of every citizen in the province.”
King will start in her new posting on Oct. 16 at the College of Medicine.