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Cindy Jordan-Orlaw

$20,460.00 (raised so far)

About Cindy Jordan-Orlaw

Dr. Cindy Jordan-Orlaw was one of the first Aboriginal women to graduate from UBC Medicine. She was an active member of the community during her time at UBC and was passionate about mentoring other Aboriginal students after she graduated. Cindy passed away in August 2014, and a memorial celebration will be held on March 28, 2015.

Born in Inuvik, NWT, Cindy was the first Inuit to graduate from the UBC MD program. She lived for several years in northern British Columbia before she moved to Vancouver, to attend the UBC Faculty of Medicine. During her time at UBC, Cindy was passionate about Aboriginal health and was acting president of the Students for Aboriginal Health group. Following her graduation from UBC with a Medical Doctorate in 2002, Cindy went on to practice as a family physician in the North.

Cindy was strongly motivated by the lack of Aboriginal doctors, particularly in the North where there are few Inuit physicians. In addition to her role in family medicine, she worked as president of the Northwest Territories Medical Association and continued her education, working towards a Masters in Public Health from the University of Alaska. She was a powerful advocate for the role of education in shaping population health. In 2009, Cindy was named to the role of Chief Medical Officer of the NWT, a role from which she hoped to inspire Aboriginal youth, and show them by her own example that the possibility of going to school exists for them.

Cindy was very proud of her ancestry and had a deep commitment to her culture. She was the mother of two children, and many other colleagues, students and friends saw her as a mother figure. She always put herself in service of others, helping them and mentoring them. She was known for her sense of humour, cheery disposition and love of dance. A completely selfless person, she was driven to make a difference in the world and had a profound impact on everyone she met.

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The impact of your support

The Cindy Jordan-Orlaw Memorial Award in Health Sciences has been established by the community to honour her life.

In keeping with Cindy’s passions, this new award will be given to Indigenous health sciences students with young families who come to study at UBC. Please help us to continue her legacy by making a gift in support of this award today.

Messages of Remembrance

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  • I was so sad to hear of Cindy's passing. She was such a kind hearted person, with so much warmth and caring in her soul. Her laughter was unmistakable, and her smile was absolutely radiant. Her family, patients, and community have lost a great one. Here's to the memory of Cindy! As a fun story... I was one of the "young yahoos" in the UBC Med Class 2002, and Cindy would come out with us from time to time for the various social events. To be sure, Cindy never missed a beat. In one of our early "meet and greet" events, an impromptu billiard - pool tournament broke out... we all sold Cindy short, and wrote her off quickly, only to be humbled and embarrassed in short order... Cindy absolutely wiped the floor with me and all of us "pros"... never judge a book by its cover, as they say ;) She was always up for some fun and a laugh, and he will be missed greatly.

    Tarek Helou, UBC Med class colleague and friend
  • My sister, Cindy, found her calling when she became a physician. She loved to help people, especially people of the north. Being Inuit, she felt compelled to provide whatever she could for her people, and so, she moved to Yellowknife to start her practise as a Family Physician. Cindy loved every minute of her career, whether delivering babies at Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife, or flying in a bush plane to Gjao Haven to attend to elders in the community. Cindy was at her peak practising medicine in the North West Territories. As her sister, I couldn't be more proud of her and her accomplishments. Cindy was meant to be in the North providing care for her People.

    Allison Anderson, Sister
  • I grew up with Cindy's cousins in Aklavik and Inuvik NWT. They always talked fondly of her family. I was saddened to hear of her passing. She was a bright light in what could be a hard existence in the north. She showed us that would hard work even a small town girl can end up as top NWT physician. Thank you for your life and your spirit. Rest in peace Cindy.

    Dennis Allen, family friend
  • Cindy was a great Doctor and friend. She made a difference. She had a light that shone and made you feel warm in her presence. She was passionate about her practice and getting the best results for her patients. She loved the North and it's People. She loved her children with all her heart and spoke of them with glowing pride. She is dearly missed by myself and many, many others.

    Kirsten Snyder, Coworker/friend
  • Cindy is greatly missed. She was one of the most kind hearted people I have ever met in my life. She was always in such high spirits with a beautiful contagious smile. She always supported me through hard times and it was always such a blessing to get a facebook message from her telling me to keep my chin up and to never let anyone get me down. I will always cherish the fond memories I have shared with this amazing women. Until we meet again Momma bear.

    Gabrielle, Friend
  • I remember the first day Dr. Orlaw and Dr. H. Alward started their orientation in the ER at Stanton Territorial Hospital. I remember thinking how the two of them where such kind, down to earth people. For the short time I worked with her before I moved, I knew when she was working it would be a more relaxed productive day! I was sad to hear of her passing. She was a beautiful person inside and out.

    Crystal Wilcox, Co worker Stanton ER
  • Cindy, I loved your laugh, your contagious smile your kind heart! You had a genuine love of people, of doctoring and being a good friend! Thank you for being my friend and making each day we spent with you memorable! You are continuing to make a difference! Sending love to your children and your family! You are missed and forever in our hearts!

    Tamara Hynd, Co-worker
  • Where do I start, Cindy was an amazing Physician , co-worker and friend. I meet Cindy for the first time when she joined the Stanton Hospital team in Yellowknife. Cindy's smile would light up a room when she walked in to it. She would always take the time to listen to your story even if she didn't get a chance to tell her own story. I never heard her complain about nothing , always ready to make a difference. This is still hard to believe she is gone, Cindy's passing is our loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

    Bonita and Raymond Hussey, Friend and Co-Worker
List of Donors
  • Class of 2002

  • Tarek Helou

  • Ami Brosseau

  • Dr. Rose Lenser

  • Leah May Walker

  • Gary Bloch

  • Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health

  • Patricelli/Meakes Family

  • Anonymous & Offline Donations

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