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Profile: Dr. Stanley Vollant

More about some of the people from the 8th Fire TV series.

Doctor:

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Dr. Stanley Vollant is an oncologist and First Nations Coordinator at the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montreal.

He believes that among the most serious threats to the Aboriginal community are obesity, diabetes, and school drop out rates. These problems, he feels, must be faced head on. That's why Vollant, an Innu from Pessamit (Betsiamites) on Quebec's North Shore, has acted. Since the fall of 2010, he has been on a 4,000 kilometre trek from Labrador to James Bay, walking through harsh and isolated territories to encourage young Aboriginals to excel. The trek is called Innu Meskhenu.

Stanley Vollant also faced poverty and racism as a child, but never dropped out of school. He says his passion for healing comes from his grand-parents who raised him in the woods of his native Nitassinan ("our territory" in the Innu language).

The Innu Meshkenu project is the result of a dream he had while walking along the road to Compostela in Spain.

In 2010, with limited means, he started his current trek on Quebec's North Shore, with the aim of transmitting his passion for a healthy life to young people. "Never get discouraged. If you dream of becoming an airplane pilot, you will be a pilot. You can succeed. If you dream of becoming a doctor, you will be a doctor."

In 2001 Vollant became the first Aboriginal President of a North American medical association. The Governor-General of Canada named him an "Aboriginal role model". He practises medicine at the Medical Clinic of Pessamit and he is the First Nations Health Coordinator at the Faculty of medicine, Université de Montréal.

Links

Innu Meshkenu