This webinar, co-hosted by the National Collaborating Centres for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) and the NCCHPP was organized for the 10th anniversary of the death of Brian Sinclair, an Anishinaabe man who died after waiting for treatment at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre Emergency Room for 34 hours. This was an opportunity to discuss the story of Brian Sinclair in the context of the history of the city of Winnipeg, and the history of health care in the province of Manitoba, and to critically examine anti-Indigenous racism. This webinar was held on September 21, 2018.

The webinar engaged with the two authors of a new book entitled Structures of Indifference: An Indigenous Life and Death in a Canadian City (University of Manitoba Press, 2018). The book puts the story of Brian Sinclair in the context of the history of the city of Winnipeg, and the history of health care in the province of Manitoba, and critically examines anti-Indigenous racism.


Mary Jane Logan McCallum

Adele Perry


Roberta Stout, Research Associate NCCAH

Michael Keeling, Scientific Advisor, NCCHPP


Post-webinar resource list.

Click here to watch the recording on Youtube.

Clic here to listen on SoundCloud.

Learning objectives

By joining us for this webinar, participants were able to:

  • Learn about the events that led to the 2008 death of Brian Sinclair, who checked in to a hospital emergency room and needed urgent care but was subsequently ignored for 34 hours before he died.
  • Reflect upon how Sinclair’s life and death were shaped by the history of colonialism and health care in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Canada.
  • Consider the structural and systemic anti-Indigenous racism that led to Sinclair’s death and shaped responses to it.

To learn more about the NCCAH, visit their website.

Speakers Bios

Mary Jane Logan McCallum is a member of the Munsee Delaware Nation and a professor of history at the University of Winnipeg. Her research focuses on modern Indigenous histories, especially in the areas of health, education and labour.  Her book Indigenous Women, Work and History: 1940-1980 (University of Manitoba Press, 2014), explores Indigenous women’s labour history in four case studies. Her current work focuses on Indigenous histories of tuberculosis in Manitoba in the years 1930-1970. Themes in her work include race and racism in the English Canadian historical profession, intersectionality, Indigenous social history, ethics and archival research, First Nations women’s politics; settler colonialism, racism and Canadian history; anti-Indigenous racism in the health care system, and digitization of Indigenous historical primary sources.

Adele Perry is a settler historian who was born and raised in British Columbia and has taught at the University of Manitoba since 2000, where she is Professor in the departments of History and Gender and Women’s Studies, a Senior Fellow at St John’s College, and a research affiliate at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.  Her research addresses histories of gender, race, and colonization in Western Canada in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. Perry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and current president of the Canadian Historical Association.

Series of webinars on Public Health Ethics

This is the fifth in a series of webinars presented by the NCCHPP in collaboration with our colleagues at the NCCs for public health. This series focuses on combining evidence and ethics to improve decision making in diverse sectors of public health practice. Our goal is to help practitioners to incorporate ethical perspectives into their everyday practices, including longer-term decision-making, with webinars designed to be relevant for practitioners and decision makers in the various areas served by the different NCCs.

Webinar Recording