Credit: Cooper & O’Hara
Brenda Reynolds has spent her career supporting the health and well-being of Indigenous communities. An Anishnaabe social worker from Fishing Lake First Nation, in Saskatchewan, she started counselling Indian Residential School Survivors in 1988 when the first litigated case of abuse went to court. She developed the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
Ms. Reynolds later worked as the health support liaison between the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Health Canada. She was instrumental in ensuring Residential School Survivors and their families could share their difficult stories in culturally safe and supportive environments.
Organizations from across Canada have sought out her expertise when furthering their work on reconciliation. Ms. Reynolds helped develop the Alberta Medical Association’s Indigenous Health policy, for example, and has led training sessions on Indigenous cultural safety and awareness for board members and staff.
“As a leader, advocate and counsellor, Brenda’s compassion for generations of Indigenous victims of colonial trauma has been transformative.” – Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, President, Alberta Medical Association
Ms. Brenda Reynolds is receiving the Owen Adams Award of Honour – the highest CMA award available to a non-physician – in recognition of her contributions to advancing medical and health education among the Canadian public.