U of S researchers to receive $5M from CIHR
- EFN Staff | April 06, 2020
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) have been awarded $5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
The goal for the researchers is to create a network of Indigenous research centres driven by and grounded in Indigenous communities.
“Through these nine health research networks across Canada, researchers, Elders, and communities will work together to conduct vitally important health research based on the priorities and values of Indigenous peoples,” said USask Vice-President of Research Karen Chad in a media release. “This Indigenous-led, community-based approach will ensure better health outcomes for Indigenous peoples and foster the next generation of Indigenous health researchers. This is reconciliation at work.”
With $3.5-million from CIHR over five years and in-kind support from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and MN-S, Dr. Caroline Tait, a USask medical anthropologist and member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S), will lead the Saskatchewan NEIHR network to foster health research within Indigenous communities, working in partnership with the FSIN, MN-S, the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, and a team of more than 60 researchers and community partners, according to the release.
“The majority of our provincial network members are First Nations and Métis peoples who are best placed to lead health research, training and knowledge mobilization for our communities,” said Tait.
“These networks will help improve the health of Indigenous peoples by removing the barriers communities face in conducting their own health research, and by matching community needs with researcher interests and expertise.”
Two intertwined Saskatchewan networks—one for First Nations communities and one for Métis communities—will be established with funding from post-secondary institutions: $400,000 from USask, $75,000 from the University of Regina (U of R), and $25,000 from First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv).
Over five years, these two networks will hire 12 people, award over $300,000 in community project grants, and support more than 50 Indigenous students.
Research assistants hired from Indigenous communities will collect data in communities across the province, community research facilitators will connect communities to relevant research opportunities, and Elders and Knowledge Holders will provide cultural guidance on relationship building, protocol, research, and community and land-based learning. The networks will also educate researchers in best practices.
The Saskatchewan networks will consist of researchers at USask, U of R, and FNUniv, and with partners including the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
“Our goal is to ensure researchers and communities have the tools they need to work together effectively, guided by the First Nations’ OCAP® (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession) principles, and Métis health research and data governance principles,” said Tait.