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Nine researchers and community partners awarded Community Partnership Grants

Nine researchers and community partners awarded Community Partnership Grants totalling $58,808 to develop major Indigenous health research grant proposals, as part of the First Nations and Métis Health Research Network

Shortly following its official launch in early April, the Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Health and Wellness Research, Training and Knowledge Mobilization Network (FMHRN) awarded nine Community Partnership Grants totalling $58,808, to researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, First Nations University of Canada, University of Regina, and two community-based organizations.

For this first competition, with funding awarded in mid-May, our research leadership team made the competition available to the 100+ members on our research team – principal applicants, co-applicants, principal knowledge users, knowledge users, and collaborators – in recognition of the support we received from them in submitting our successful application for the Saskatchewan Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) network funding for Saskatchewan, as well as the grant to host the NEIHR National Coordinating Centre, which supports the nine NEIHR networks across Canada.

These grants provide researchers and community partners with seed funding to support them to develop Indigenous health grant applications to the Tri-Councils and other major research funders. In addition to the funding, grantees will be provided with mentorship and support so they are able to work together with other researcher and community partners to develop and submit strong research proposals to major granting agencies in the next year, increasing their likelihood of success.

Congratulations to all our recipients! They are, in alphabetical order:

Dr. Brenda Green, Associate Professor in Indigenous Education, Health and Social Work at First Nations University of Canada, and co-applicant in our Network, has been awarded $5,000 to work with members of Touchwood File Hills Tribal Council to develop a grant to explore explore opportunities to share stories of traditional birthing and midwifery with Indigenous Elders.

Ms. Margaret Kîsikâw Piyêsîs, CEO of All Nations Hope Network, a community partner in our Network, and her colleagues have been awarded $5,000 to bring together a group of Kokums (grandmothers) from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to develop a research proposal to share their teachings and experiences of Indigenous birthing and child rearing.

Dr. Carrie LaVallie, PhD, Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education, Health and Social Work, First Nations University of Canada, and a Principal Investigator in our Network, has been awarded $5,000 to conduct a needs assessment as part  of a research proposal to develop an aftercare centre in Prince Albert for people healing from addiction that supports healing using Indigenous methodologies.

Dr. Stacey Lovo, PhD, Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Principal Applicant in our Network , and her colleagues have been awarded $5,000 to bring together Elders, Knowledge Keepers and others to develop a research proposal to expand the course content in land-based learning in the Role of Practitioners in Indigenous Wellness Program, an online course for Saskatchewan health practitioners that is grounded in Indigenous worldviews.

Dr. Robert Patrick, PhD, Associate Professor in Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan, and a co-applicant in our Network, has been awarded $6808 to engage with partners from the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun to identify the cumulative impacts of placer mining activity on local water security and community health. The First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun is located at Mayo, Yukon Territory, on the Stewart River.

Mr. Rhett Sangster, MA, Director of Reconciliation and Community Partnerships at the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, a community partner in our Network, and his colleagues have been awarded $5,000 to develop a research proposal to support the evaluation of the Reconciliation Saskatchewan initiative that they lead throughout Saskatchewan, through Reconciliation Coalitions, facilitating reconciliation action plans, measuring reconciliation progress, and communicating learnings and stories of success.

Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose,  PhD, Associate Professor in Educational Psychology and Counselling at the University of Regina,  and a Principal Investigator in our Network, and her colleagues have been awarded $8,000 to support infrastructure to develop Virtual Care Clinics in First Nations communities in which they are already providing peer health and advocacy services in HIV, HCV and STBBIs. They plan to expand the range of services offered to diabetes, mental health and addictions, and traditional wellness, all in light of COVID-19. The funding will support infrastructure to develop these clinics and a grant application to evaluate their effectiveness.

Dr. Stuart Skinner, MD, DTMH, FRCPC, an infectious disease physician and clinical member of USask’s College of Medicine, and Principal Investigator in our Network, and his colleagues have been awarded $9,000 to work in partnership with five Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan for knowledge sharing between Western clinicians and traditional medicine people and knowledge keepers around the prevention, reversal and cure of diabetes.

Dr. Hassan Vatanparast, MD, PhD, Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and School of Public Health, and a co-applicant in our Network, and his colleagues have been awarded $10,000 to engage with First Nations community members in Saskatchewan living off-reserve, for a research proposal comparing dietary patterns, food security, and diet quality of off-reserve First Nations populations, compared to non-Indigenous populations (quantitative and qualitative methods). With this funding, they will be able to work with communities on how to identify facilitators and barriers toward healthy eating and preventing diabetes among off-reserve First Nations people before and during COVID-19.

Fleur Macqueen Smith, MA, Manager, First Nations and Métis Health Research Network, fleur.macqueensmith@usask.ca
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