Two students talking across a desk.

Need a program-related question answered? Looking for advice? Want some study tips specific to your field?  

Gekinoo’amaaged, Ongomiizwin – Education’s student mentorship program, provides Indigenous students in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences with the opportunity to have a role model that learners can turn to for advice and offers a comfortable space to ask questions.

Gekinoo’amaaged means teaching each other in Ojibway. The mentors are creating a community of connected Indigenous students, helping build networks and developing relationships to ensure success.

Meet the mentors

Mentors are available from the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, Max Rady College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Rehabilitation Sciences and the College of Pharmacy.

Evan Loeb.

Evan Loeb – Dentistry

Evan Loeb, a second-year Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry student, was born in Winnipeg and his family is from Wabowden, Man.

What he loves about the program is that he’s had the chance to learn hands-on skills early on in dental school.

Evan enjoys spending his free time reading, hiking, camping, fishing and playing golf, hockey and lacrosse. His favourite place in Winnipeg is The Forks and St. Boniface. He likes walking around those areas and grabbing food.

Shaylyn Moar.

Shaylyn Moar – Rehabilitation Sciences

Shaylyn Moar, a second-year bachelor of respiratory therapy student in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, was raised in Winnipeg and her mother is from Little Grand Rapids First Nation.

What she loves about her program is gaining hands-on experience and learning how to provide patient-centred care.

Shaylyn enjoys being active in the outdoors. She likes hiking, biking and camping. Her favourite place in Winnipeg is Assiniboine Park because there are many things to do – from going for a walk to bike riding to getting ice cream.

Portrait of Melanie Poirier.

Melanie Poirier – Pharmacy

Melanie Poirier, a second-year Doctor of Pharmacy student, is from St. Adolphe, Man.

What she loves about the pharmacy program is that she is constantly learning about things that pharmacists can do and the endless number of career paths.

Melanie enjoys working on embroidery and beading projects. She also loves puzzles and is a foodie. Her favourite place in Winnipeg is The Forks because it has great food, fun outdoor activities and cute shops.

Portrait of Winter Traverse.

Winter Traverse - Nursing

Winter Traverse, a fourth-year College of Nursing student, is from Pinaymootang First Nation.

What she loves about the nursing program is the sense of community within her cohort and the opportunities for student engagement, such as being part of the Nursing Student Association.

Winter enjoys playing Animal Crossing, trying new recipes and building her collection of fragrances. Her favourite place in Winnipeg is Assiniboine Park because of the English Garden and how scenic it is in the summer.

Portrait of Talia Tumak.

Talia Tumak – Nursing

Talia Tumak, a third-year nursing student, grew up in Winnipegosis, Man.

What she loves about the nursing program is that it’s challenging in many ways. She said there’s always something to learn and there’s always room to grow.

Talia enjoys quadding, fishing, hunting and spending time with family and friends. Her favourite place in Winnipeg is The Forks because it’s a great place to explore during any season.

Portrait of Mercedes Stemm.

Mercedes Stemm

Mercedes Stemm, a first-year Max Rady College of Medicine student, grew up in Natoaganeg First Nation in New Brunswick and moved to Halifax, NS, for university.

What she loves about her program is learning new things about the growing field of medicine and being around her like-minded classmates.

Mercedes enjoys trying new food and restaurants, going for walks with her two dogs and husband, and playing video games. While she hasn’t been able to explore much of Winnipeg yet, her favourite place so far is Polo Park mall because it’s bigger and better than the shopping centres she’s used to.

Advice from the mentors

Evan's advice

“Don’t be shy to get involved in activities. They’re there to make you feel more comfortable and get you more familiar with your environment and the people around you.”

Melanie’s advice

“Take some time to reflect honestly on your habits. Not only your study habits but also your daily routine and how you incorporate pleasure and self-care into your schedule. How does it make you feel? What are your goals and priorities? What do you think works well for you? What steps can you take to better reach your goals?”

Mercedes’ advice

“Don’t give up and don’t be scared to reach out for help when you need it. I had a hard transition to undergrad from a small reservation. I didn’t do so well in my first year, but after receiving lots of support, I ended with amazing grades and ultimately made it to medical school! Any medical school would be lucky to have you."

Shaylyn's advice

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s always important to ask questions and network with other people. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t understand something and just be really resourceful.”

Talia’s advice

“You can do anything you put your mind to. Anything is possible if you put in the work.”

Winter’s advice

“Embrace and experience the feelings you may have when entering a new role, such as a student nurse. Self-reflecting on your emotions will help you to process them where you are then able to identify sources that boost your motivation or sources that make you uncertain or overwhelmed.”

Contact us

Ongomiizwin – Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
P122 Pathology Building
770 Bannatyne Ave
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3W 0W3