Incoming medical students at the University of Minnesota were forced to give a pledge vowing to ‘honor all Indigenous ways of healing,’ including those that have been ‘historically marginalized by Western medicine.’
The students also pledged to fight ‘white supremacy, colonialism [and] the gender binary’ at the school’s white coat ceremony on August 19.
In a video from the ceremony, Dr Robert Englander — the associate dean for undergraduate education — could be heard reading the pledge to the new students, donning their new doctor’s coats.
He begins by noting: ‘Our institution is located on Dakota land. Today many indigenous people throughout the state of Minnesota, including the Dakota and the Ojibwe call the Twin Cities home.
‘We also recognize this acknowledgment is not enough,’ Englander continued, adding: ‘We commit to uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the health care system.
‘We recognize inequities built by past and present traumas rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary, ableism and all forms of oppression.
‘As we enter this profession with opportunity for growth, we commit to promoting a culture of antiracism, listening and amplifying voices for positive change.
‘We pledge to honor all indigenous ways of healing that have been historically marginalized by western medicine, [and] knowing that health is intimately connected with our environment, we commit to healing our planet and communities.’