The Elders-in-Residence program is an initiative of the Aboriginal Students Health Sciences (ASHS) office within the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, Canada. Acknowledging the success of Elders-in-Residence programs elsewhere, ASHS sought not only to develop its own program, but to be innovative in providing increased cultural support and learning opportunities for health science students and staff.
The program, developed in 2010, has involved Elders and invited guest speakers representing Métis, Inuit and First Nations from across Canada who come from urban, rural and reserve communities and organisations. McMaster University’s Elders-in-Residence program started with two in-house Elders during the 2010–11 academic year: Elize Hartley (Métis) and Bertha Skye (Cree). In response to student needs, the program was expanded in the 2011–12 academic year to include Elders at the Waterloo and Niagara campuses: Gerard Segassige-Ojibway (Mississauga) and Lorna Hill (Cayuga), respectively.