DUniv. 2018

Honorary Doctorate Recipient

Stanley Vollant


Stanley Vollant is an Innu surgeon from Pessamit who grew up along the St. Lawrence in Quebec’s North Shore region. From an early age, he learned strong community values through the traditional teachings of his grandfather. Dr. Vollant did his secondary and post-secondary education in the Quebec City area and then earned his medical degree from the Université de Montréal in 1989. He completed his residency in general surgery in 1994, becoming Quebec’s first Aboriginal surgeon.

In December of the same year, he began his career as a general surgeon at the Baie Comeau regional hospital. A decade later, he joined the Chicoutimi CSSS in the general surgery department, eventually moving to Ottawa, where he practised general surgery at Montfort Hospital and became an adjunct professor of surgery and director of the University of Ottawa’s Aboriginal Medical Education Program. In 2010, he became coordinator of the Aboriginal medical education program at the Université de Montréal. He continues to practise medicine in his village of Pessamit and is a member of the general surgery team at Hôpital Dolbeau-Mistassini.

Dr. Vollant’s track record in social and professional engagement speaks for itself. Some of the main highlights include acting as president of the Quebec medical association, where he represented the province’s 9,000 physicians, and sitting on the board of directors of the Canadian Medical Association. Dr. Vollant was also a member of the Health Council of Canada, Health Canada’s Science Advisory Board, Canada’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Rural Health, Quebec’s Conseil de la santé et du bien-être, Quebec’s Comité d’éthique des sciences et technologies and numerous other health-related working groups.

In addition to being a highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Vollant has regularly served as honorary chair of several major events. He has also been featured in national newspapers, documentaries and numerous in-depth interviews on public interest programs.

Promoting healthy living among First Nations is Dr. Vollant’s main cause. He has also been involved in numerous initiatives such as establishing mini medical schools to encourage Aboriginal youth to choose a career in the health field

In the fall of 2010, Dr. Vollant started a multi-year 6,000-km journey to walk the Innu Meshkenu, the path of his ancestors. His goal was to help build bridges between First Nations and neighbouring communities and to, among other things, have conversations with youth about the importance of staying in school and clean living. Along the way, he also gathered knowledge from elders and information on traditional medicine to help preserve and pass on this heritage.

In 2016, Dr. Vollant founded Puamun Meshkenu (path of a thousand dreams). The goal of this foundation is to inspire and support First Nations, Métis and Inuit to make their own journey of a thousand dreams by developing their full mental, spiritual, physical and emotional potential.

Dr. Vollant has four children, Sophie-Alys, Cloé-Éloïse, Xavier and Béatrice.

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