Winner of the Excellence Award 2020 – Mélissa Sokoloff

Excellence award


Inuit and non-inuit meeting through art in health in Montréal : an intersectoral collaboration


Mélissa Sokoloff is from Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) and thanks the Kanien’ké:ha (Mohawk) people
for continuing to be the guardians of the land and waters where she lives. Her interest in art
therapy began in Inukjuak, an Inuit community in Nunavik. A graduate of Concordia
University’s Master’s degree in Art Therapy, she has been practicing in community settings for
the past 13 years, primarily in adult mental health. She is also a lecturer in art therapy at the
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and recently completed her PhD in Applied
Human Sciences at the Université de Montréal.

You can access the full text here :élissa_Sokoloff.pdf

How can we make health services culturally safer for Inuit in Montreal? This article focuses on the
Inuit/non-Inuit encounter based on artistic activities and more particularly on the evolution of the
collaboration with the Inuit center where the doctoral research took place. The identification of one
participant, Michael Abraham, artist and Inuit, contributed to changing the power dynamics.
Met for the announcement of the award, Michael Abraham created this drawing in the context of his care in Montreal while systemic racism was in the news with the death of Joyce Echaquan. Questioned on the sadness in his drawing, he recognized feeling sad when he made it and said: “It’s good what you’re doing. I wouldn’t have come to Montreal if it wasn’t for my health. My message is: listen to the doctors, do your treatments, because health is important”.
– Mélissa Sokoloff, PhD, ATPQ (2020)


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