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Native American from Canada applying to US

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by Nathan21, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Nathan21

    Jul 27, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Hey everyone,

    I am a First Nations/Native American student from Canada who is interested in applying to a number of American medical schools. I am a status, registered Indian from Canupawakpa Dakota Sioux First Nation, which is close to the American border. I am currently completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta.

    Being First Nations is an integral part of my identity. I worked on a Cree Indian reserve in high school and all of my summer jobs have been with non-profit Aboriginal organizations. This has included two summers at the Metis Nation of Alberta and a summer with the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers. The latter deals primarily with economic development in First Nations communities and included regular work on a number of different Cree Indian reserves.

    There is also the more personal aspect, which honestly isn't too different from some of my First Nations friends. Alcoholism in my immediate family, teenage mothers, been through two divorces, siblings have been in the child welfare system, none of my six siblings have a high school diploma, violence, a brother in jail, a parent and sibling on welfare, have lived on my own since the age of sixteen, and so on. I could go on for a while. I will honestly say that I haven't been able to maintain strong family or even cultural ties given my experiences. But then again, many First Nations youth aren't able to either.

    Anyways, my experiences have definitely given me perspective on Native people which is helped by my educational background in Native Studies. I know that in my career, I want to be able to help First Nations peoples because that is what I have always felt that I would do. At this point, however, I am not entirely sure how this will happen, as I am only twenty-one.

    Overall, do American schools consider Canadian First Nations in the same manner as American Indians?

    Given that I did not grow up in the US, have my experiences been very different than those of American Indians?

    Any other advice or input would be appreciated. Please be honest.

    - Nathan
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  3. sindadel

    7+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Attending Physician
    Just curious why you favor American medical schools. Or are you planning on applying to both?
  4. Miss Alyssa

    Miss Alyssa Member
    7+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I'm Canadian and currently at school in the US. When I was in Canada I did a lot of work with First Nations people as well as Caribbean- and African-Canadians because all are underrepresented in sciences.

    Anyways, I can't answer your question specifically but I did indicate myself as "black/African-American" on my applications and I believe that black people from Canada are given the same regard as black people from America. I know several Caribbean-Canadians studying medicine in the US. I would assume it would be similar for First Nations.

    Now, the native americans in my medschool supposedly get pretty nice scholarship/financial/'money' packages. I don't know if there's truth to that or not. If you were looking for information on this sort of thing, I don't know if you would qualify because you're Canadian. A lot of scholarships in general require you to be an American citizen or have resided in a particular state.

    All that being said, I encourage you to apply to Meharry if you haven't already. Every chance I get I encourage the director of admissions to accept more Canadians!

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